The Americas

Protesters Throw Fruit at Chile's Rescued Miners

Former trapped miners, from left, Victor Zamora, Omar Reigadas, Claudio Yanez, Pedro Cortez, Carlos Bugueno, Esteban Rojas, Samuel Avalos, Carlos Mamani and Jimmy Sanchez arrive to attend a Mass marking the first anniversary of the San Jose mine collapse in Copiapo, Chile, Friday Aug. 5, 2011. The 33 miners survived 69 days, 700 feet deep after an unprecedented and dramatic Oct. 13, 2010 rescue.

Former trapped miners, from left, Victor Zamora, Omar Reigadas, Claudio Yanez, Pedro Cortez, Carlos Bugueno, Esteban Rojas, Samuel Avalos, Carlos Mamani and Jimmy Sanchez arrive to attend a Mass marking the first anniversary of the San Jose mine collapse in Copiapo, Chile, Friday Aug. 5, 2011. The 33 miners survived 69 days, 700 feet deep after an unprecedented and dramatic Oct. 13, 2010 rescue.  (AP2011)

COPIAPO, Chile -- It has been a bittersweet anniversary for Chile's rescued miners. They were honored as heroes in their hometown Friday, with a Catholic Mass and a museum inauguration recognizing their remarkable survival story.

But the celebrations were marred by anti-government protests. Students, teachers, environmentalists and other miners scuffled with police and tried to interrupt President Sebastian Pinera's events with the miners. Some even threw fruit and stones and accused the miners of being ungrateful for their rescue.

Chileans newspapers on Saturday called it a low blow, especially for the miners who are unemployed and suffering from mental problems.

The son of rescued miner Omar Reygadas says his father was deeply saddened by the treatment.