Just hours before the 33 Chilean miners were to be rescued from their 69-day ordeal underground, there was one thing that Marta Salinas wanted her philandering husband, Jonni Barrios, and the other miners to know: “Women are fighters.”
It was a strong statement coming from a woman who was unwittingly thrust into the glaring media spotlight as part of an epic love triangle centering around Barrios, who infamously asked that both his wife and mistress be waiting when he emerged from his prison nearly a half-mile underground.
In response to the request, Marta remained strong and dignified. She did not bemoan the fact that her husband publicly humiliated her. She only wanted Barrios and the other miners to know that the women were behind their rescue. Because, in the midst of the worldwide media spectacle that focused on the miners and the mammoth rescue effort at the San José Mine, Marta Salinas found herself, her strength, and her dignity.
“I would like to remind you that the women were the ones that showed strength (and pressured authorities) when everything was lost for you all to be rescued, because women are fighters. Please tell this to the (other) 32.”