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The metaphor and reality of death were central to Sergio Almaraz Paz’s eloquent political essay Requiem for a Republic (1969). A left-nationalist critic of the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement, Almaraz (1928–68) felt that the revolution had succumbed even before the advent of right-wing military regimes in the 1960s. He also dedicated a chapter of his dark book to the grim destiny of mineworkers. In his account, the highland mining camps were cemeteries full of men who aged and died prematurely, whose bodies were poisoned, and whose labor enriched New York and London more than it did their own homeland.

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