Children of the silver mountain
A documentary directed by Juan.S Betancor.
- Type: Documentary
- Duration: 52 min
- Director: Juan.S Betancor
- Release date: 2005
- Co-production: Juan Betancor
- Sound: Dirk Royaards
- Editing: Juan S. Betancor
- Languages: English français
- Broadcast format: Digital Betacam
- Distribution: Zaradoc
In 1545 Spanish conquerors discovered pure silver in a mountain in the Inca region of Kollasuyo, today’s Bolivian Altiplano. They named this mountain Cerro Rico (Rich Mountain) and the prosperous and powerful city born at its base, Potosí. Soon they created the biggest mining industry in its time, sustained by a merciless forced labour system, “La Mita”.
After more than four centuries of operation the Cerro Rico of Potosí continues to offer silver, zinc and lead to forty five cooperatives of miners, who work Under dreadful conditions similar to those of their ancestors in colonial times. “El Tío” (“The Uncle”), the Lord Demon of the mine, is the true owner of its veins, and the miners worship him to win his favour. In exchange, the men must sacrifice their lungs in the obscure maze of the mountain tunnels. They, and those who live off this natural wonder, are the “Children of the Silver Mountain”.