When the Colombian special forces Tap1 soldiers spotted the children in the jungle, they put their hands to their radio transmitter shouting "miracle": the code word agreed to indicate the success of Operation Hope, forty days in the Amazon jungle and 2,500 kilometers of beaten forest, in search of the four brothers who escaped a plane crash. A magical story of resilience and trust that enchants the world, worthy of the stories of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Lesly Jacobombaire Mucutuy, 13, Soleiny 9, Tien Noriel, 4, and little Cristin - who turned one year old on May 26 while she was in the jungle - were found in a spot scoured several times by soldiers and natives.
The same quadrant in which the Dragon 4 unit had identified the first shelter of the little ones, the remains of a mangled fruit, and a pair of scissors, three kilometers from the discovery of the carcass of the plane. "A mystery that surprises everyone," it was said, since the area, where there are no caves and the forest is not dense, had been beaten far and wide. "A great joy for the country" exulted the president, Gustavo Petro, returning from Cuba with a ceasefire agreement with the ELN rebels in his pocket. The first to spread the photos of the children via Twitter were the Armed Forces. In the images, the brothers wrapped in thermal blankets, appear disoriented and undernourished. Transferred by helicopter to the unified command post of the nearest San Jose Guaviare, they were examined by doctors, who found them dehydrated, with insect bites and multiple wounds, especially to the feet, for wandering barefoot for days. To survive, Lesly, Soleiny, Tien, and Cristin were guided by their "ancestral knowledge" passed on by their grandmother. They improvised bandages to protect their feet and built makeshift huts to shelter from the rains.
Plane crash in Colombia, four children found alive: helicopter rescued
And as in Hansel and Gretel's fable, they left many small clues along the way: remains of fruits, footprints, a pair of purple scissors, a bottle, a hair band, a small piece of metal - encouraging the rescuers, who also organized launches of kits from the sky, with food and water, to help them resist. And to contribute decisively to the discovery, was the hero dog Wilson, the Belgian shepherd who sniffed the traces of the children - missing for a few days - who according to the military was the first to find the group and protect it. While the indigenous scouts, deep connoisseurs of the forest and its pitfalls, oriented the special forces when GPS and compasses went crazy, driving away tigers, tapirs, and other wild animals. Magdalena Mucutuy Valencia, who died in the plane crash, and her four children, had boarded the crashed Cessna 206 to rejoin her husband, Manuel Ranoque, former governor of the Puerto Sabalo indigenous reserve, who fled a few days earlier, after death threats from the guerrillas.
The flight had departed from Araracuara, with destination San José del Guaviare. Route on which it is believed that isolated indigenous peoples still live in the forest. But halfway, as the plane was flying over Caquetá, the pilot, former taxi driver Hernando Murcia Morales, had launched a mayday, warning of an engine failure. Then the communications were interrupted. The aircraft was found crashed on May 15. Inside and around, the corpses of three adults, including the indigenous leader Yarupari Herman Mendoza Hernandez, but no trace of the brothers, found alive in the jungle, like in a fairy tale with a happy ending.
Colombia, children lost for 40 days in the jungle receive treatment on a military plane