TEAM CHICKEN UNITE!
By Gerry Hadden
Armando and I don’t like to take risks. We don’t put ourselves in danger’s way. On reporting trips we sniff out that line and we respect it. I have a partner and young kids. And a big yellow line running down my spine. I had the luxury of experiencing pants-wetting levels of fear early in my career, when I was single and still protected by my invisible-death-repeller-shield. But I’m older now. And I misplaced the shield during a move some years back.
So we approached this mining story with our usual caution. The illegal mines are a dangerous place. Many of our correspondent colleagues have tried to go in, only to be beaten back or threatened at gunpoint. Peruvian journalists have it even harder. But our fixer on the ground, Edison “Cebiche” Huaman, had a connection. We sent him to the mines days before we arrived in Peru. He met with the miner we ended up profiling, Alberto Perez, and more importantly, with Perez’s boss, Joaquin. Upon hearing what we wanted to do, Joaquin granted us permission to enter his mine, or “hole.” Without that permission, going in would have been plain stupid.