4 Indigenous children found alive after Colombian Amazon plane crash

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

A miraculous rescue took place in the dense Colombian Amazon, as four Indigenous children, including an 11 month old baby, were found alive more than two weeks after a plane crash. Colombian President Gustavo Petro expressed his joy for the country and credited the military’s “arduous search efforts” for the discovery.

The plane crash occurred on May 1, claiming the lives of three adults. More than 100 soldiers and sniffer dogs were deployed to search for the missing children, who were believed to have been wandering through the jungle in the southern Caqueta department since the accident. The children, aged 13, 9, 4, and 11 months, are from the Huitoto ethnicity.

Search efforts intensified when rescuers found an improvised shelter made of sticks and branches, suggesting the presence of survivors. Later, the armed forces released photographs showing scissors and a hair tie among the branches on the jungle floor. Earlier, a baby’s drinking bottle and a half-eaten piece of fruit had been discovered.

The bodies of the pilot and two adult passengers were found on Monday and Tuesday. Ranoque Mucutuy, one of the deceased adults, was the mother of the four children. The plane had been flying from a remote jungle location to San Jose del Guaviare, a major city in Colombia‘s Amazon rainforest.

The search, dubbed “Operation Hope,” was challenging due to the giant trees, wild animals, and heavy rainfall in the area. Three helicopters were employed, one of which played a recorded message from the children’s grandmother in the Huitoto language, urging them to stop moving through the jungle.

The cause of the plane crash has not been revealed, but Colombia’s disaster response body stated that the pilot had reported engine problems just minutes before the aircraft vanished from radars. The region has few roads and is difficult to access by the river, making air travel commonplace, reported Bangkok Post.

The Huitoto people, known for their harmony with the remote jungle, as well as their hunting, fishing, and gathering skills, may have contributed to the children’s survival. However, exploitation, disease, and assimilation have significantly reduced the population over the years.

President Petro, Colombia’s first leftist leader, has struggled to implement the fundamental reforms in labour law, healthcare, pensions, and the judiciary that he promised during his campaign since taking office last August.

World News


With a Bachelor's Degree in English, Jenn has plenty of experience writing and editing on different topics. After spending many years teaching English in Thailand, Jenn has come to love writing about Thai culture and the experience of being an ex-pat in Thailand. During long holidays, she travels to North of Thailand just to have Khao Soi!

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