- - Monday, April 9, 2012

LIMA — Peru’s government is appealing to mining companies for heavy equipment and experts to help free nine miners trapped for four days in an informal copper mine.

Several dozen rescue workers have been using pickaxes and shovels to try to remove the 26 feet of collapsed earth and rock blocking the entrance of the mine, whose horizontal shaft is dug into a mountainside 175 miles southeast of Lima.

Firefighters have fashioned wooden beams to support the debris removal, but their relatively crude efforts prompted Mining Minister Jorge Merino to appeal for help from mining companies.

Thursday’s collapse occurred following a blast set by the miners themselves in a mine last exploited commercially in the 1980s.

Through a hose, rescuers have been able to communicate with the trapped miners and provide them with liquid sustenance and the local police chief, Jose Saavedra, told the Associated Press that several tons of earth and rock already have been removed from the tunnel’s mouth.

Officials worry, however, that some could suffer from exposure though none appear to be hurt.

CUBA

Castro mocks Obama over ‘guayabera’ diplomacy

HAVANA — Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro mocked the idea that President Obama could wear a “guayabera” shirt at an upcoming Americas summit in Colombia while opposing Cuba’s presence at the event.

News reports have said a noted Colombian designer is making a series of guayaberas for Mr. Obama to wear at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena on Saturday and Sunday.

Mr. Castro, whose brother Raul succeeded him as president in 2008, offered a history lesson on the origins of the light, tropical shirt, asserting that it was created in an area of Cuba that is watered by the Yayabo River.

“That’s why they were originally called yayaberas,” he wrote in an article published in the Cuban press.

Other accounts say the shirt’s name may have come from the guayabas, or guavas, that could be carried in the large pockets that are sewn into the shirt’s pleated front.

“What’s curious, dear readers, is that Cuba is forbidden from attending this meeting, but not the guayaberas. Who can stop laughing?” Mr. Castro said.

The U.S. and Canada have opposed Cuba’s participation in the meeting, which brings together 34 heads of state and government to discuss regional cooperation and a reduction of physical barriers to integration.

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