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Witness
Child Miners - 2 Years On
A touching sequel follows the developments in the life of two Bolivian child miners.
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2009 11:50 GMT


Watch part two

Filmmaker: Rodrigo Vasquez

The Llallagua tin mine in Bolivia has been active for 100 years.

For much of that time poor Bolivians have been dying as they struggle to extract the valuable metal in appalling conditions.

In 2006 Witness travelled to Bolivia to film with child miners Jorge Mollinedo and his friend Alex Choque, soon after the country's first indigenous President Evo Morales had won elections with the promise of renationalising the mining industry.

But armed conflict between the cooperatives that extract tin and the National Miners Union broke out in October of that year.

Jorge's mining town was partially destroyed and 20 miners, among them women and children, were killed.

The cooperatives have been denied access to the pits ever since so now Jorge's father has lost his job.

But because the child miners are not part of the cooperative they've carried on working, and now Jorge is helping to support his entire family, at the age of just 13.

Rodrigo Vasquez made that first film for Witness, and in Child Miners he returns to Llallagua to ask what happened to the promised reforms, and to find out if life for Jorge and Alex has improved.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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