According to Colombian President Gustavo Petro, four young children were found alive after wandering in the Amazon for more than a month, where they survived like “children of the jungle”.
Petro announced on Twitter on Friday that his mother had died in a plane crash and was found 40 days after he went missing, saying, “I learned from an indigenous family and what they learned about life in the jungle. saved,” he told reporters.
Petro said the children were all together when they were found, adding that they provided an example of “historic complete survival”.
“They were children of the jungle, now they are children of Colombia,” he added.
The Colombian president revealed the find earlier in the day, tweeting an image that appeared to show a search party treating children in a forest clearing with the words “joy for the whole country!”
“I’m going to hug everyone” and “thank everyone” as soon as they reunite in their hometown of Villavicencio, their grandmother Maria Fatima Valencia said.
“I will encourage them and push them forward. We need them here,” she said.
The children, who look emaciated in the photos, are being examined by doctors and will be taken to the town of San Jose del Guaviare. Defense Minister Ivan Velázquez said they will receive further treatment in the capital, Bogota.
“I hope they will be treated in a military hospital tomorrow,” he said, praising the Colombian military and the indigenous community for helping find them.
Petro said the children were weak and in need of food and would be screened for their mental status. “Let’s get it evaluated by a doctor, and we’ll know,” he added.
Leslie Jacobomber Muktui, 13, Soleini Jacobomber Muktui, 9, Tien Ranok Muktui, 4, and toddler Christine Ranok Muktui, will be born in May. Stranded in the jungle for a day, he is the sole survivor of a fatal plane crash.
Their mother, Magdalena Muktui Valencia, died in the crash along with two adult passengers, pilot Hernando Murcia Morales and Yalpari indigenous leader Herman Mendoza Hernández.
The subsequent disappearance of the children in the dense forest sparked a massive military-led search operation involving more than 100 Colombian special forces and more than 70 indigenous reconnaissance agents combing the area.
After weeks of searching, they found only interesting clues: footprints, dirty diapers and bottles. His family said the eldest son had some experience in the woods, but his hopes were fading as the weeks went by.
At some point during the ordeal, Petro said he had to defend himself against the dog.
He said the children’s survival was a “gift to life” and a sign that they were “cared for by the jungle.”
The Colombian president said he spoke to the children’s grandfather, who told them their survival was in the hands of the jungle, which ultimately chose to return them.
Grandfather Fidencio Valencia said he and his wife endured many sleepless nights worrying about their children.
“For us, this situation was like being in the dark, walking to walk. We live to live because the hope of finding them kept us alive.” We were so happy when we found the children, I don’t know what to do but thank God,” he said.
The children’s other grandfather, Narciso Muktui, said he hoped he would bring his grandchildren home soon.
“I ask the President of Colombia to take our grandchildren to Villavicencio, where our grandparents and aunts and uncles are, and then to Bogotá,” he said.
Indigenous leader Lucho Acosta, coordinator of the Indigenous Scouts, acknowledged the “tremendous efforts” of search and rescue teams and local authorities to find the children in a statement on Friday.
“They all put in a little effort to make this Operation HOPE a success, and we can expect our children to come alive and stronger than before. , our strength won,” he said.
The Colombian Ministry of Defense tweeted that it “didn’t stop searching until a miracle happened.”
At a press conference on Friday night, Petro said he wanted to talk to his children on Saturday.
“The most important thing now is what the doctors say. They have been missing for 40 days and their health must have been under stress. Their mental health also needs to be checked.” he said.
Petro, who was forced to retract a tweet he mistakenly claimed the children had been found last month, described the children’s 40-day story as “amazing evidence of survival.”