Chile Rescuers Divided Over How Much To Tell Trapped Miners

by
staphni
The 33 trapped Chilean miners were today delivered their first hot meals in nearly a month, as a debate broke out over how much information should be shared with the men before they are rescued. The first delivery of hot food – rice with meatballs – and cheese sandwiches was a sign that efforts to improve the men's living conditions 700 metres inside the San Jose mine are gradually bearing fruit. Rescue crews have promised that the trapped men will remain on a daily diet of about 2,500 calories, but at the rescue headquarters at the mine head, a fierce debate has begun over communication between the men and the outside world. Government psychologists are helping family members craft letters to the men in an effort to avoid upsetting them with any bad news from home. Newspapers sent to the men are allegedly censored, with disturbing crime stories removed. Government health officials are undecided over what movies the men should be shown on a video projector which was lowered into the shelter last week. "They have told us to not ask any questions to the men in our letters," said Carolina Lobos, 26, daughter of trapped miner Franklin Lobos. "We are supposed to write in a positive way that will bring them up." But Professor Nick Kanas, who has studied for over a decade the impact distance and isolation has on astronauts, and is co-author of Space Psychology and Psychiatry, warned that censoring the men's letters could create a climate of mistrust and suspicion between them and their rescuers: "I would not screen anything; if you start to do that you are setting up a base for mistrust. The miners will then ask, 'What else are they hiding from me?'" As Chile nears its national bicentennial, aides to President Sebastián Piñera are looking for ways to include the miners in the national celebration. "The whole nation will sing the national anthem at noon on the [September] 16th," said Ena Von Baer, a spokeswoman for the president. Asked whether that included the trapped mine
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/01/chile-miners-censorship-row