33 women lock themselves in Chilean mine to protest job losses

The women, who threatened to go on a hunger strike, Tuesday replicated the plight of 33 miners who were trapped 700 metres underground in northern Chile for more than two months but were rescued in a spectacular operation broadcast live around the world.
The demonstrators in Lota protested over the end of a social programme that employed 9,500 people in the area, which was ravaged by the Feb 27 earthquake that claimed hundreds of lives in Chile.

The end of other similar programmes scrapped 8,000 jobs in recent weeks in the area, which is among the poorest in Chile.The protesting women demanded the mediation of the Chilean Roman Catholic Church. Around 100 people gathered outside the mine El Chiflon del Diablo (The Devil's Ravine) to support their cause.

The demonstrators demanded that the government help them as it did the 33 trapped miners in the north.The mine El Chiflon del Diablo was the scene of many accidents over several decades and is currently not being exploited.

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