Survival Against the Odds: Children Rescued After 40 Days in Amazon
Colombian authorities have released four young children who survived 40 days in the Amazon rainforest after a plane crash.
Since their discovery on June 9, Colombia’s Military Hospital in Bogota has treated the children, aged 1 to 13. In a press briefing on Friday, Astrid Garces, director of the Colombian Children Welfare Agency ICBF, confirmed that they were discharged from the hospital and are now in a shelter home.
The agency’s 188 Colombian shelters house the children. “Considering everything they went through, they are actually well,” Garces said. In the hospital, psychologists and anthropologists began treating them.
After their mother, Magdalena Mucutuy Valencia, died in a plane crash on May 1, the four children, Lesly Jacobombaire Mucutuy (13), Soleiny (9), Tien (4), and Cristin (1), were stranded in the Amazon jungle.
Over 100 Colombian special forces troops and 70 indigenous scouts searched the area after finding signs of their survival. The children were found last month after weeks of searching with only footprints, a soiled diaper, and a bottle. Gustavo Petro called them “children of the jungle.”
The children ate three kilograms (six pounds) of Amazonian farina, a coarse cassava flour, to survive. According to a Colombian military special forces official, this food was essential to their survival in the rainforest.
After the children were released from the hospital, the ICBF announced its intention to present a case to a family court to determine legal custody of the four children, a process known as “reinstatement of right.” Their grandparents had requested their return. Manuel Ranoque, the father of the two youngest children, and the maternal grandparents have requested legal custody, but the family court will decide.
The ICBF stressed that the legal matter is private and should be resolved legally. The children’s well-being and transition from the hospital to the shelter home, where professionals will support their emotional and psychological recovery, are the main concerns.
The world has been captivated by these resilient children’s survival against all odds, reminding us of the power of hope and the human spirit. Their Amazon rainforest journey shows our indomitable courage and resilience.