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Joy for the whole country, says Colombian president after missing children rescued

The four children who had been missing for more than a month in Colombia, after the plane they were traveling in crashed in the department of Guaviare, were found alive yesterday (9), after 40 days. In his official Twitter account, President Gustavo Petro, “said that it was a joy for the whole country”.

“A joy for the whole country! The 4 children who were lost 40 days ago in the Colombian jungle turned up alive,” the president posted on his Twitter account, along with an image that appears to show search teams with the four children.

The Colombian Presidency also published on its Twitter account, quoting Petro, that “indeed, the indigenous communities were looking and the Armed Forces found the children after 40 days in the #Guaviare jungle. They are an example of survival”.

Speaking after the announcement, Petro said that the children were alone when they were found and that their “example of survival will go down in history”.

Regarding the condition of the children, Petro said that they are receiving medical care in San José Guaviare, where the first inspection will take place. “If the doctors advise, they will be taken to Bogotá or Villavicencio, it depends on what the doctors decide.”

And he added that this Saturday he will try to talk to minors. “They defended themselves. It was the learning of indigenous families, the learning of life in the jungle that saved them”, said Petro.

In turn, indigenous leader Lucho Acosta, coordinator of the Indigenous Scouts of the Colombian Amazon, also confirmed the discovery of the four children.

“On behalf of the military, and all authorities in the territory… everyone joined in a small effort to make this Operation Hope a success, and we hope that the children come out alive and stronger than before. We waited together with the strength of our ancestors, and our strength prevailed,” he said.

The Colombian Ministry of Defense tweeted: “The joy is enormous, the gratitude to our Armed Forces will be eternal. We never stopped looking for them until the miracle came. #OperaciónEsperanza”.

In addition, the US Embassy in Colombia posted on its Twitter account that “the four minors who survived the plane crash in Guaviare are the light of life and hope that illuminates Colombia. Thank you, @FuerzasMilCol, for the heroic search and rescue mission in such difficult terrain and for bringing us this immense joy.”

The difficulties of the jungle where the children disappeared The story, which made national and international headlines, kept the country going, while the search work continued with few leads.

In mid-May, the authorities assured that there were signs that the minors were alive and began to leave food kits in the jungle so that they could find them.

The jungle where the children were looking is located between the departments of Guaviare and Caquetá, the border between the Amazon region of Colombia, a vast area of ​​jungle, and the Eastern Plains, sparsely populated territories, difficult to access and where historically there has been a presence of insurgent groups 9 .9% of the population of Guaviare is indigenous, according to data from the National Administrative Department of Statistics, DANE.

The department of Guaviare has an area similar to that of Switzerland. A first discovery that did not happen on May 17, Colombian President Gustavo Petro tweeted that the children, aged 13, 9, 4 years old and one over 11 months old, were found alive.

But then he deleted the tweet and the next day he pointed out that the information given to him by the Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF), which is responsible for child protection, had not been confirmed.

“I regret what happened. The Armed Forces and indigenous communities will continue in their tireless quest to give the country the news it awaits,” said the Colombian president in the message at the time.

What would have been an extraordinary story of survival confounded Colombians as government officials struggled with poor communications without direct contact with children.

Colombian Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF) director Astrid Cáceres said at the time that her team received second-hand confirmation that search parties had rescued and identified the children.

She added that she was “very sure” that the four children had been found, but was awaiting more evidence. With information from Mia Alberti, Mitchell McCluskey, Karol Suárez, Marlon Sorto and Hira Humayun.

Source: CNN Brasil

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