- The Chilean president, the great protagonist of the rescue operation.
- Owner of a TV channel he has managed to turn the quest into and international promotion for his country and has helped to increase his popularity.
- The has remained glued 24 hours to the hole through which the 33 miners have emerged, he received them all with warm hugs.
- The nightmare ends, the 33 miners are out of the mine and all are safe and in good health.
He ordered the first rescuer to go down into the mine and bring all the miners alive. Twenty-four hours later, put the lid on the shaft that was the way out for the 33 Chilean miners caught under thousands of tons of rock at 700 meters under the Atacama desert surface. He did not move from there. Sebastián Piñera, president of Chile, has emerged as the main protagonist of the most heroic rescues in the history of world mining. And from there he has seen as his and the miners’ popularity rose including worldwide recognition for his nation.
Dressed in the Government’s red uniform, always smiling and accompanied by his wife, Cecilia Morel, Piñera remained at the center of the image throughout the day, present at each of the miners rescues, whom the man (considered by Forbes to be 433 richest man in the world) hugged as if they were members of his own family.
Piñera has deployed all his press and communications artillery: the two press conferences on a stand at Camp Hope, interviews with correspondents and even some messages via Twitter.
The President of the Conservative Party has carefully thought over his statements and wanted to send a message that would serve to unite the nation, adding patriotic pride. Two main subjects have been the backbone of his speeches: praise for rescue professionals and the promise of a new law on job safety. Not surprisingly, the accident took place in a mine that was operating without official permits.
“This will not go unpunished. Those responsible will pay,” said the president. Thus, Piñera sought to silence critics who blamed the government’s lack of supervision and protection which led to the mining accident. He also announced the construction of a memorial that will be located at Camp Hope, in memory of all victims of mining and this specific rescue.
Devote and seductive
With the miners back to life, Chile has also emerged in the eyes of the entire world as a great country. “Chile is more respected and now better valued around the world,” said Piñera, who spiced almost all his statements with continued thanks to God, clearly showing his fervent Catholic devotion. “Faith moves mountains and in Chile we have achieved it,” he said.
Always seductive on camera, stroking his hair long, the former owner of a television channel, a football team and large tracts of land in the country, was also very emotional on several occasions during the historic rescue that ended with all 33 miners back to safety, finishing the odyssey with a strong and heartfelt “Viva Chile, mierda!”, a typical hurray shout in the country.