Rescued Miner Faces Love Triangle Above Ground

Yonni Barrios
Yonni Barrios

As if the rescue operation at the San Jose mine in Chile didn't have enough drama, one of the newly freed miners has managed to provide a whole new level of tension after his extramarital affair was exposed.

Yonni Barrios, who was the 21st miner rescued, got a warm welcome when he finally tasted freedom - from his lover, not his wife.

Marta Salinas decided to snub her husband after she found out he was having a fling with a woman named Susana Valenzuela.

"I'm happy because he was saved. It's a miracle from God. But I won't attend the rescue," a bitter Salinas told Clarin, a South American newspaper.

While the affair was obviously a dealbreaker for Salinas, Valenzuela was more understanding. She gave Barrios a long embrace when he finally emerged from the half-mile-deep dungeon where he spent the last 69 days.

Apparently, the two women were both in the dark until they met at a candlelight vigil for the miners last month, The Sun newspaper of Britain reported. Valenzuela told Salinas that she had been romantically involved with her husband for five years.

According to the BBC, Barrios was nicknamed "The Doctor" by his fellow miners because he has extensive first aid knowledge (from helping his diabetic mother), which came in handy when it came to monitoring the health of colleagues.

The BBC also reports that in a letter to his wife, he said he felt like he was "in hell" after the cave-in.

It seems another hellish scenario may be in store for him above ground.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for