In 2008, Rodrigo Vazquez made ‘Child Miners’ profiling the lives of 10 year old Alex and his best friend, 13 year old Jorge. Over the past six years, Vazquez has returned regularly to film the boys as their lives have taken radically different paths.
Jorge managed to escape the mines and get an education. He trained in the military and now works as a policeman in nearby Huani. His main challenge is to stem crime in the increasingly violent mining town streets – most of which comes from young miners, high on alcohol and drugs.
Meanwhile – despite Jorge’s offer to help him – Alex continued mining. But when another miner is murdered, Alex becomes the main suspect. He maintains his innocence but is facing a long prison sentence. Desperate, Alex’s family contacts Jorge. But how can Jorge help his friend without compromising his work as a policeman?
Filmed over nearly a decade, this is a powerful testimony to the lives of Bolivia’s child miners.
Jorge and Alex are among thousands of children working in Bolivia’s mines for less than a dollar a day. In claustrophobic scenes filmed underground, the boys confide their fears that the poorly maintained tunnels will cave in on them.More info