33 Chilean Miners Rescued -- Their Private Lives Surfaced: Now the Saga Begins (Watch Video)
In a cavern, in a canyon,
Excavating for a mine
Dwelt a miner forty niner,
And his daughter Clementine
How I missed her! How I missed her,
How I missed my Clementine,
But I kissed her little sister,
I forgot my Clementine.
In this photo released by the Government of Chile, miner Johnny Barrios Rojas, left, embraces his girlfriend Susana Valenzuela after being rescued from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine, near Copiapo, Chile, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010. Barrios was the twenty first of 33 miners to be rescued from the mine after more than 2 months trapped underground.
One is a great-grandfather several times over, another a teen father. A third has spent half a century working the mines. Yet another had a wife and a mistress, he being the focal point of this article.
The men who survived underground after a mine caved in on them, were making history Wednesday as they — and their private lives — finally surfaced after 69 days.
Johnny Barrios Rojas' rescue was one of the most anticipated — just to see who would be there to greet him.
The 21st miner to be pulled from the collapsed mine, Barrios quickly became known as the man who had two women at Camp Hope — his wife of 28 years, Marta Salinas, and his mistress of four years, Susana Valenzuela.
Salinas is said to have known nothing of the affair until the two women ran into each other at Camp Hope anxiously holding vigil — a very public spat ensued.
The 50-year-old Barrios emerged from the rescue tcapsule that elevated him to the Earth's surface, peering sheepishly through dark glasses as mining officials greeted him with vigor.
Behind him stood Valenzuela, his mistress of four years, smiling ear to ear, just waiting for him to take notice. When he didn't, the moon-faced strawberry blonde walked around to look Barrios dead in the face and gave him a kiss and hug, sobbing into the shoulder of his jumpsuit as he whispered into her ear.
Salinas, his wife of 28 years, was nowhere to be seen.
Barrios' wife had reportedly ripped down a poster of her husband put up by his mistress just weeks earlier in utter disgust.
The mistress, defiant, taped the poster back up, and below poems and prayers she had dedicated to him, signed it, "Your Wife."
Dubbed "el enfermero" — the nurse — Barrios served as the miners' medic the entire time they were trapped, dispensing medication sent in by health officials, passing out nicotine patches and documenting wounds.
He is said to have ended all his letters in the same manner: "Get me out of this hole, dead or alive."