Four indigenous children rescued from the Colombian jungle after a survival feat are well in a Bogotá hospital, the children’s grandfather reported this Saturday.
“I just saw the grandchildren. First, they are alive, they are very worn out, but I know they are in good hands,” said Fidencio Valencia, a 47-year-old Huitoto Indian, outside a Bogota military hospital.
The minors were traveling with their mother and a community leader. The single-engine plane fell to the ground on May 1 and was destroyed in the middle of the jungle of the department of Caquetá.
Using sniffer dogs, helicopters and aircraft, a hundred soldiers and dozens of indigenous people found the bodies of the adults. The children, on the other hand, were found 40 days later.
After searching for them along 2,656 kilometers, a group of soldiers and indigenous people located the brothers, ages 13, 9, 4 and one, in the middle of the jungle on Friday. In the first images they looked fragile, thin and without shoes.
The rescue operation lasted until early Saturday morning. The children were flown by helicopter to the nearest city of San José del Guaviare, and then the Air Force took them to Bogotá, where they are receiving medical attention.
“They are children of the forest and they know how to survive in the jungle,” Valencia said.
President Gustavo Petro announced the rescue and celebrated the day as “a magical day” in which a six-month truce was also signed with ELN guerrillas who are negotiating peace with the government.
“They were alone, they made it themselves. An example of total survival that will go down in history,” said the president.