RSS
Chilean miner rescue: World reactions
A China Daily editorial doubts whether the miners would have survived in that country. A Nigerian newspaper draws pointed leadership lessons
Florencio Avalos, the first of 33 trapped Chilean miners to be rescued (facing away from the camera), hugs Sebastian Pinera, president of Chile
Florencio Avalos, the first of 33 trapped Chilean miners to be rescued (facing away from the camera), hugs Sebastian Pinera, president of Chile
Marcelo Hernandez/Corbis
T

he rescue of Chile's 33 "miracle miners" captivated people everywhere, prompting a flood of congratulatory phone calls to President Sebastian Piñera from international leaders including President Obama, Pope Benedict XVI, and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. But what did newspaper editors in other regions of the globe see in this extraordinary saga? Here's a sampling:

We can all learn from ChileDawn (Pakistan)
The dramatic, "ingenious rescue" of Chile's miners provided "a heart-warming example of how a nation can come together and show unity and resilience," says Dawn in an editorial. And Chile needed that, after its "dark days" stretching from the "Pinochet dictatorship" to the devastating earthquake in February. But this also prompted Piñera to order an overhaul of mine safety rules, and "governments all over the world, especially in countries like Pakistan," should emulate that "to protect the lives of miners."
"Remarkable rescue"

Chile can't rest on its laurelsBusinessDay (South Africa)
"The Hollywood film industry could not have better scripted the dramatic rescue," says South Africa's BusinessDay in an editorial. And that is testament to the "meticulous" planning that has made Chile's government look like it can "achieve the impossible." Still, "how long will it be before this polished reputation begins to lose its shine?" The "tarnished truths" of Chile's problems will soon show through. Just ask South African President Jacob Zuma — "the glow and goodwill... generated by the World Cup" in July is already gone.
"A reckoning due after Chile rescue"

The lesson: End underground miningJamaica Observer (Jamaica)
Naturally, all Jamaicans "rejoiced" at the "miraculous good fortune" of the 33 miners, says the Jamaica Observer in an editorial. But while we say "vive Chile" for the rescue, we also shout "no más" to sending miners "clawing for nuggets in 100 degree heat in crevices fit only for vermin." Machines and robots need to do this work, so that hundreds of underground miners no longer "die horrible deaths in the bowels of the earth from the United States to China" each year.
"Viva Chile, no más — No to underground mining!"

In China, the miners probably would have diedChina Daily (China)
China's "authorities and professional relief workers have shown impressive competence lately" in rescuing trapped miners, says China Daily in an editorial. But honestly, the 33 miners may not have found a similar "happy ending" here, especially in privately owned mines. Few, if any, Chinese mines have emergency shelters like those that saved the Chileans, and mine safety awareness is "surprisingly weak." The "negligence" of the for-profit mine sector means "there must be forceful government intervention to make sure it takes the matter seriously."
"Our heartfelt joy for 33 Chilean miners"

We wish we were ChileansDaily Trust (Nigeria)
"Anyone who watched the live rescue efforts could be forgiven if they wished, or even felt, that they were Chileans," says Nigeria's Daily Trust in an editorial. Not only because of the "spontaneous outpouring of national fervor and pride" that "brought out tears" even in non-Chileans. But also because unlike Nigeria's bungling leadership, Piñera never left any doubt as to "who was in charge of the unfolding episode." If Nigeria's president joined the other world leaders in congratulating Piñera, we hope he took "some time to imbibe some lessons" on how Chile's leader managed to "galvanize a nation."
"Lessons of Chile mine rescue"

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week