Life Is Such A Wonder!

Chilean Miner Torn Between Two Women

October 14, 2010
Chilean miner Yonni Barrios kissing his mistress Susana Valenzuela after surfacing from the mine

When Yonni Barrios emerged from 69 days underground to cries of “El Doctor,” there was none of the fist-pumping celebration that marked the other miners’ rescue. His underground ordeal may have ended but he finds himself  caught in another ordeal. He must now make a choice between his wife and his mistress. Talk about being in a tight spot!

Chilean miner Yonni Barrios has been married for 28 years to Marta Salinas, but was having an affair for years with his mistress, Susana Valenzuela.

Yonni Barrios' wife Marta Salina

Mistress Susana Valenzuela holding a photo of Yonni Barrios at the mine camp

Yonni Barrios may have been feeling trapped long before a landslide sealed him inside a Chilean gold mine last month.

As Barrios awaited rescue along with 32 other miners, his wife and his mistress met each other thousands of feet above, at a vigil for the men stuck in the mine. Marta Salinas, 56, says she heard the other woman calling her husband’s name as families gathered to pray for the workers.

The discovery prompted a war of words between the two rivals. The mistress, Susana Valenzuela, said she had met Barrios on a training course five years earlier, and that he was planning to leave his wife for her.

Salinas told told The Sun in London she was “horrified” but plans to keep her man. “Barrios is my husband. He loves me, and I am his devoted wife. This woman has no legitimacy,” she told the British paper.

But the other woman, Susana Valenzuela, said she and the trapped miner will stay together. “We are in love,” she told the paper. “I’ll wait for him.”

Barrios reportedly asked both his wife and his mistress to be there to greet him when he emerged from underground.

“He asked me to come, but it turns out he also invited the other woman and I have decency,” Salinas said before the rescue, according to ABC News. “This is very clear: It’s her or me.

“I’m happy because he was saved. It’s a miracle from God. But I won’t attend the rescue.”

A trained paramedic, Barrios previously looked after his diabetic mother. While trapped underground, he administered medicine to his fellow miners and vaccinated them against the flu. The other miners called him “Dr. House,” after Hugh Laurie’s character in the Fox medical drama, which is popular in Chile.

Barrios was the 21st miner hoisted back to the surface and the world watched to see what kind of welcome he would receive. His wife kept to her words and stayed away from the rescue. His mistress, Valenzuela, greeted him with a warm embrace and the two shared a side kiss.

Chilean miner Yonni Barrios kissing his mistress Susana Valenzuela after surfacing from the mine

Barrios’ dilemma reminds me of the song “Torn Between Two Lovers” by Mary McGregor. The lyrics of the song have been amended as Barrios is a man:

Yonni Barrios is torn between two women

Torn Between Two Women

There are times when a man has to say what’s on his mind

Even though he knows how much it’s gonna hurt

Before I say another word, let me tell you “I love you”

Let me hold you close, and say these words as gently as I can

“There’s been another woman that I’ve needed and I’ve loved,

But that doesn’t mean I love you less,

And she knows she can’t possess me, and she knows she never will,

There’s just this empty place inside of me that only she can fill”

Torn between two lovers, feeling like a fool

Loving both of you is breaking all the rules

Torn between two lovers, feeling like a fool

Loving you both is breaking all the rules

You mustn’t think you failed me just because there’s someone else

You were the first real love I ever had,

And all the things I ever said

I swear they still are true

For no one else can have the part of me I gave to you

Torn between two lovers, feeling like a fool

Loving both of you is breaking all the rules

Torn between two lovers, feeling like a fool

Loving you both is breaking all the rules

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