Four babies – aged 13, 9, 4 and 1 respectively – were found alive in the Colombian rainforest forty days after the plane crash in which they were involved. “They have implemented a total survival that will go down in history,” Colombian President Gustavo Petro said Friday evening in a press conference in which he said the four children are “weak” but in stable condition.
The plane crash had occurred on May 1st and in the place where the wreckage had been found, the rescuers had identified the bodies of the three adults who were on board, but not those of the children, to find whom the searches had therefore begun: the the story had attracted great attention in Colombia and the research had involved, among others, the army and indigenous communities living in the rainforest. On May 17, Petro had announced the discovery of the children, only to then retract, speaking of a mistake.
The four children are part of the Huitoto indigenous community and at the time of the accident they were traveling from Araracuara to San José del Guaviare, a small town in the center of the country, with their mother and the head of their small community. The plane had crashed after an engine failure and after the pilot had declared an emergency.
During the search, the New York Times wrote, the rescuers had used powerful speakers to reproduce, making it audible at a distance of almost two kilometers, a recording in the Huitoto language made by the children’s grandmother, in which she told them to stand together and wait the rescue. In recent weeks, some footprints attributable to children and the discovery of shoes and diapers had been identified.
At the moment it is not yet clear how the four children, however belonging to an indigenous community used to dealing with the jungle, managed to survive for forty days in the rainforest, in a period of heavy rains and in a place which there are, among other things, jaguars and several species of venomous snakes. It is probable that in order to survive and look for food, the children have moved a lot, which however has made the search operations even more complex. On Saturday morning the children were transferred to a hospital in Bogota, the country’s capital. “They are children of the jungle,” Petro said, “and now they are children of all of Colombia.”
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