Jorge Mollinedo and Alex Choque are best friends. They have worked together in the tin mines of Bolivia, hammering out a living from the underground rock.
They are now teenagers and looking for a way out of their desperate poverty and lives blighted by silicosis and ill health caused by mining. Jorge sees the military as a way to change his life and his country. But Alex's plight keeps him tied to the mines.
This is the third time that Witness has filmed with these two, the original Child Miners, over several years. Teenage Miners is a poignant look at the lives of two young people fighting the cycle of poverty as they grow up into young men.
Here, filmmaker Rodrigo Vazquez writes about turning the idea of filming two child miners as they grow older into a reality.
Jorge Mollinedo, the main character in the award-winning film Child Miners, is now 15 years old and has become an energetic teenager determined to have a better life than his father, who has been a miner all his life and has contracted silicosis, the 'miners' disease' that kills thousands of people every year.
Thanks to the possibilities opened up by Evo Morales' government in the mining areas, "leadership courses" have been set up in Huanuni, Jorge's town. Jorge has begun attending these classes because he says that he would like to become a "leader of the poor" and to "raise awareness about the need to stop child labor".
LEARN MORE:More on Witness from Al Jazeera
About Al Jazeera - Witness
Rageh Omaar and Ghida Fakhry present Witness, a half-hour documentary series which features short, specially commissioned or acquired films gathered from independent filmmakers.
Each documentary reveals the unknown lives of ordinary people, following their lives, telling their stories and portraying the challenges that confront them. Our witnesses are people in a situation or those who have observed them first hand.
The films cover conflict, belief, the past, and the future and, as well as bringing new stories to light, they showcase the talents of a new breed of multi-skilled, frontline journalist.