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Colombia’s ‘miracle’ – Four children found alive after 40 days alone in jungle

It had a happy ending the adventure of four children in Colombia, aged 13, 9, 4, and one year old, who were missing and wandering for forty days in the Amazon jungleas they were found alive, surviving the crash of the small aircraft they were traveling in.

“The four children who went missing 40 days ago in the Colombian jungle have been found alive”President Gustavos Petros confirmed via Twitter, accompanying the post with a photo of soldiers and natives from the location where they found the brothers.

“Yes, they found the children, I need a flight, a helicopter to go and find them urgently”the children’s grandfather, Fidencio Valencia, told AFP.

The children had not actually moved far from the crash site, Mr Valencia explained. “They were found by an Araraquara native who had been looking for them from the beginning, Henry Guerrero”added the grandfather.

Members of the indigenous Uitoto tribe, accustomed to life in the jungle, the four children had been wandering in the thick vegetation since May 1, the day the Cessna 206 they were in, along with their mother, the pilot and a relative, crashed. The three adult occupants of the aircraft were found dead by the military at the crash site.

“They were together, they are weak, let’s let the doctors examine them. They found them, that makes me very happy”President Petros told reporters, underlining that they made it out on their own in the jungle.

The Colombian military released more photos on Twitter from where the brothers were found, sitting on sackcloths, surrounded by soldiers and natives who offered them food and drink. The two older ones wore ripped jeans and long-sleeved T-shirts, their legs wrapped in strips of fabric.

Over a hundred soldiers, with the help of specially trained dogs, and dozens of natives searched for the children in the jungle on the border of Guaviare and Kaketa prefectures, after the plane was spotted with its nose on the ground in dense vegetation.

“Magic Day”

The chances of finding the children alive seemed to diminish with each passing day in the extremely hostile environment where jaguars, cougars, reptiles and other predators seek prey. There are also voracious insects of all kinds, while there was also the critical issue of finding drinking water.

Dissidents of the former FARC rebel organization are also active in this area, specifically a group with which peace negotiations were recently interrupted.

News of the children’s disappearance went around the world, as did videos and photos of the army’s rescue operation. Bottles, scissors, shoes, half-eaten fruit, footprints and even makeshift shelters were found along the way.

“Today is a magical day, which, without a doubt, fills us with joy”the Colombian president insisted after returning from Cuba, where his government and the National Liberation Army (ELN), officially the last rebel organization continuing the armed struggle in Colombiathey ended up signing a six-month truce.

“I come back and the first news I hear is that the natives and members of the armed forces who participated in the search found the children 40 days later”he added.

“They were alone, they made it on their own. It is an absolute example of survival, it will go down in history. These children are today the children of peace and the children of all Colombia”he insisted.

The Belgian shepherd who was looking for them is missing

Mr. Petro also praised “the effective coordination between the military and the natives” in investigations, “an example of an alliance from which the country should draw lessons”.

“If the doctors recommend that we transfer them to Bogotá or Villavicencio (centrally), it will depend on what they decide. I will try to talk to them”stated,

In the meantime Wilson, a Belgian shepherd who lost during the search for the children in the jungleis still not found, the head of state noted with regret.

The children – the eldest and the toddler are girls – know how to survive in the jungle, their relatives had pointed out during investigations.

The Air Force took part in the operation with three helicopters. In one, a loudspeaker was installed, playing a message from the children’s grandmother.

Satellites were also used to try to find the path the children might have taken in the jungle.

The Cessna, with seven people on board, was en route from Araraquara, Amazonas province, to San Jose del Guaviare, Guaviare province, when it issued a distress signal due to mechanical failure in the early hours of May 1, before disappearing from radar.

Source: News Beast

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