- By Native News Online Staff
Four Indigenous children who have been missing since the plane in which they were passengers crashed in the Amazon rainforest over a month ago were recovered on Friday.
The four children survived for over 40 days in the Colombian jungle on May 1, 2023. Three adults, including their mother, the plane’s pilot and another adult died in the crash.
The children, aged 13, 9, and 4 years and 11 months, are members of the Indigenous Huitoto people.
They were found by a group of Indigenous people volunteers and Colombian soldiers. The children were taken to a hospital in Bogota, the Colombian capital, for treatment where are expected to remain for two weeks.
According to local reports, Colombian Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez reported that the children were dehydrated and are unable to eat food at this time.
"But in general, the condition of the children is acceptable," Velasquez said. They were traveling with their mother from the Amazonian village of Araracuara to San Jose del Guaviare when the plane crashed in the early hours of May 1.
The Cessna single-engine propeller plane was carrying three adults and the four children when the pilot declared an emergency due to an engine failure. The small aircraft fell off the radar a short time later and a search for survivors began.
"When the plane crashed, they took out (of the wreckage) a farina, and with that, they survived," the children's uncle, Fidencio Valencia told reporters outside the hospital. Farina is a cassava flour that people eat in the Amazon region.
"After the farina ran out, they began to eat seeds," Valencia said.
The children were visited by family members and the Colombian President Gustavo Petro on Saturday.
"The jungle saved them," Petro said. "They are children of the jungle, and now they are also children of Colombia."
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