Children of the Silver Mountain
In 1545, Spanish conquerors discovered pure silver in a mountain in the Inca region of Kollasuyo, in Bolivia. They named this mountain Cerro Rico or 'Rich Mountain"...and the prosperous and powerful city born at its base, Potosi. Soon, the conquerors created the biggest mining industry in its time, sustained by a merciless forced labor system known as "La Mita." After more than 400 years of operation, the Cerro Rico of Potosi continues to offer silver, zinc and lead to 45 cooperatives of miners, who work under horrid conditions similar to those of their ancestors in colonial times. The true owner of the mines, "El Tio" ("The Uncle"), the Lord Demon of the mine, is worshiped by the minors in order to win his favor. But to do so, the men must also sacrifice their lungs in the obscure maze of the mountain tunnels.