Four surviving children of an accident, have not yet appeared

Colombia remains in suspense before what could be one of the most dramatic —and possibly miraculous— stories in the Andean country: the fate of four indigenous children who disappeared 19 days ago after the crash of the plane in which they were traveling in the middle of the Amazon jungle.

The Cessna C206 plane, with seven people on board, was flying in the early hours of May 1 from Araracuara to San José del Guaviare, in central Colombia, when it reported an engine failure. Shortly after, the aircraft disappeared from radar.

The authorities located two weeks later the remains of the plane and the bodies of three adults, but not the other crew members: four children aged 11 months, 4, 9 and 13 years old, all brothers.


This week the story took a turn when President Gustavo Petro tweeted that the four children had been found alive. The euphoria it caused, however, only lasted a few hours. The president himself had to correct himself and say that although there were versions that they were found, no one had seen them.

Are the children alive? No one can answer it yet, but the authorities are maintaining a frantic search for the possibility that the four minors have survived 19 days in the Amazon jungle.

The children, members of the Uitoto indigenous community, have been identified as Lesly Jacobombaire Mucutuy, 13 years old; Soleiny Jacobombaire Mucutuy, 9 years old; Tien Noriel Ronoque Mucutuy, 4 years old, and Cristin Neriman Ranoque Mucutuy, 11 months old.

Their grandfather has said that the mother and the children were traveling to meet the father of the minors, who had left his community weeks before due to threats.


Dozens of soldiers, supported by indigenous people from nearby communities, combed the area where the plane would have crashed. The first trace appeared four days, on Monday: a bottle. Was it from the 11 month old?

Guided by indigenous people, the armed forces arrived on Tuesday to the place where the remains of the Cessna were, in an area of ​​virgin forest. There were the bodies of the three adults, including the pilot, an indigenous leader who worked as a guide, and a woman who was identified as the mother of the children. There was no trace of the minors.

The next day, Wednesday, new indications gave optimism and illusion: soldiers located some scissors in the undergrowth between what appeared to be an improvised shelter made of leaves. Many began to think that this was proof that the children were alive.

Then came the tweet from President Petro announcing the location of the minors on Wednesday. Several Colombian and foreign media released the news with the president’s message giving an account of the “miracle.”

In a few hours, the media themselves reported that there was no confirmation of what the president said. The company that owns the plane stated in a statement that one of its pilots who was in the area had heard from some inhabitants of indigenous communities that the children would be on their way to a town aboard a boat that was moving along one of the rivers. That didn’t happen either.

One of the versions was that the children had boarded a boat on the Apaporis River, towards Cachiporro, an Amazonian town. However, when the boat reached its destination, the minors were not on board.

On Thursday, one of the 100 men involved in the search operation found what appeared to be a human foot print, perhaps one of the children, in the mud near a stream.


On the same Thursday, however, Petro returned to Twitter to say that the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare had given him unconfirmed information: “I am sorry for what happened. The Military Forces and the indigenous communities will continue in their tireless search to give the country the news it is waiting for. At this time there is no other priority other than moving forward with the search until you find them. The lives of children are the most important thing,” the president wrote.

On Friday, the search continued under the watchful eye of Colombians who wonder what happened to the children who disappeared in the jungle.

Petro, on a tour of an Amazon community, trusted that the indigenous people of the area would help locate them. “They found the plane, let’s hope they find the children,” he said.

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