A plane crash in the jungle, three dead adults, four missing children, 17 days later the president confirms they are alive, but a day later he backs down. Colombia The suspense is what will be the end of this story that will shake the country.
On the morning of May 1, A Cessna 206 single engine airplane Ashore in the department caquetaWhen he covers the route between Araguara and the city in the Department of Amazonas Guerrier’s San Jose.
WATCH: Pedro retracts his announcement on rescue of 4 children who disappeared in Colombia jungle 18 days ago
Before that fatal outcome, The pilot of the plane declared an emergency due to engine trouble.
Seven people were on board: the pilot and six civilians, including four children and their mother.
Army-led search teams found the plane only on Monday, May 15. It crashed in a rural area of the municipality of SolanoDept caquetaCivil Aeronautics said in a statement.
The pilot’s body was found near the plane. Hernando MurciaAnd a few meters away are the remains of the Director of the Yethara Domestic Professional Trust, Herman Mendoza Hernandez; And Magdalena Mukutui ValenciaAn ethnic mother of four huitoto According to the Colombian newspaper, who is missing “the viewer”.
There was no trace of the four minors at the scene of the accident, who have been identified Lesly Mucutuy, 13 years; Solini Mukutui, 9; Tien Noriel Ronoque Mucutuy, 4, and Cristin Neriman Ranoque Mucutuy, 11 months.
From that moment, the President’s government Gustavo Pedro He arranged for more elements to join the search for children. As a result, more than 100 soldiers, along with watchdogs, entered the forest between the sectors Quarrier Y caqueta.
It didn’t take long for soldiers to spot what they called “a makeshift shelter made of sticks and branches,” and they suspected at least one child was alive.
The Army released photos of the shelter, which contained scissors, hair, shoes, clothes and a bottle.
They also found out “The fruits of the forest were bitten”, the German Comerco, director of civil defense of the Meta Department, told AFP, coordinating search efforts.
Pedro’s announcement excited everyone
Following these findings, the President on Wednesday afternoon Gustavo Pedro He surprised the nation by announcing that the child had been found alive.
“After strenuous search efforts by our military forces, we have found alive the 4 children missing in the plane crash (…) Joy to the country”wrote Petro on his account on the social network Twitter.
To reinforce what was announced by PetroCompany report Avianline ChartersThe owner of the accident plane, assured that One of its pilots, who was in the search area, was informed of the discovery of the children. And these “were carried down the river by boat, and they were all alive.”
Also, the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF) He said in a statement that he had received information that the children were alive.
“On this May 17 afternoon (…) information was received from the territory confirming contact with four boys and girls who were part of the persons transported by plane”ICPF pointed out.
The company further specifiedAccording to the statement made by the tribal communities, the minors are “in good health.”
There are no further details about the alleged discovery.. Hours passed and no photos were released, how or where the children were found, or where they were taken to the hospital.
That same Wednesday night, everything changed Military forces had to go to inform the country that the message delivered by Pedro had not yet been confirmed And the search for his role continued.
It was the day after the president deleted Wednesday’s tweet Pedro took it back.
“Since I cannot confirm the information provided by ICPF, I have decided to remove Trillin. I’m sorry for what happened. Military forces and tribal communities will continue their tireless quest to deliver the message the country is waiting for. At this point there is no other priority than to move forward with the search until you find them. Children’s lives are so important.” He wrote on Twitter.
What happened? Who misled the president?
He retracts the false information he gave in that tweet Petro indicating that it was the source Colombian Institute of Family Welfare.
Sources, according to Colombian press Narino Palace The director promised ICPFAstrid Cáceres was the one who informed the president about the alleged discovery of the children.
This Thursday, Astrid Casers He was interviewed by Caracal and RCN radio and reaffirmed that the children were “fine”. He insisted they were alive and under the care of social workers.
She said she was “excitedly” awaiting a new interaction with people who are said to be with children. Satellite communication was lost and communication could not be re-established.
Regarding the health of the minors, he said, information has been received that they are fine. With some scratches.
For his part, The families of Mukuduy Valencia and Mendoza Hernandez rejected the false information being spread about the children. And they demanded respect in the face of false expectations that had been created.
“Physical and emotional health is not a game that can be erased and/or easily forgotten”A local media report said.
“Harassing the media for reporting not only ignores our rights, but incites violence and pain”he added.
Wild animals, dense forest and lots of rain
AFP reported about the search operation Giant trees 50 meters high, wild animals and heavy rain made it difficult for soldiers and tribal people to go for the children.
For what is called Operation Hope, the Air Force has enlisted three helicopters to fly in dense jungle.
One of these helicopters carries a speaker “capable of covering an area of about 1,500 meters”. A message recorded by the children’s grandmotherstands for AFP.
“Leslie, I am asking you a favor, I am your grandmother Fatima. You have to keep calm because the army is looking for you for your benefit. Thank you for keeping calm, daughter. If you hear bugs, daughter, stand there for them to find you and fetch you.”The children’s grandmother says in the recording in her own language huitoto.
According to newspaper El Espectador, the crash site A forest little explored by man.
German Camargo, director of operations for META’s Civil Defense, described it as a tough terrain. “It is a virgin forest, very dense and connected to the river Apaboris, so there are also muddy areas, and it is difficult to walk because of trees over 30 and 50 meters high, with big roots. Added to that are the weather, storms, heat and wild animals. said.
A hypothesis about accident
El Espectador newspaper confirmed that the plane’s pilot reported an engine failure before he disappeared. According to Sergio Paris Mendoza, director of civil aeronautics, “this failure in this type of aircraft implies two procedures: tree planting, allowing survival” or the option chosen by the pilot: search for a river to land.
“However, because of where the plane was and the trajectory, it is believed that he saw a potential place to plant trees and decided to make a turn, but with the height of those trees, the plane fell to the ground,” Paris said.