News Latin America Two cell phones, a flashlight and Wilson’s drawings: the community and the...

Two cell phones, a flashlight and Wilson’s drawings: the community and the children give clues about the 40 days in the jungle

Two cell phones, a flashlight and Wilson’s drawings: the community and the children give clues about the 40 days in the jungle

The four indigenous children rescued on Friday in the Colombian jungle have spent their first days of recovery at the Military Hospital in Bogota. The director of the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF), Astrid Caceres, commented on Blu Radio on Monday that they are evolving favorably and that they can now eat cassava (a cassava bread), as they requested from the beginning. They paint and read, under the care of relatives of the mother — who died in the plane crash on May 1 — and an ICBF defender. Meanwhile, members of the indigenous community have reported that various objects helped the children during the 40 days they were alone in the jungle: two cell phones, a flashlight, a music box, a bottle, and some awnings.

Four indigenous people, who were part of a joint operation with the military, were the ones who found Lesly Mucutuy (13 years old), Soleiny Mucutuy (9 years old), Tien Noriel Ranoque Mucutuy (5 years old) and Cristin Neriman Ranoque Mucutuy (1 year old). Nicolas Ordonez spotted them among the vegetation thanks to the crying of the baby. “We are family, we come from his father, from his grandmother,” he told them, according to what he told in a video that circulates on social networks. “I’m hungry, I’m very hungry,” Lesly replied. A few steps back, they saw Tien, lying inside an awning and having difficulty walking. “My mom died,” he told them.

The rest of the group arrived later. Henry Guerrero, in charge of transmitting the news to the family, told Caracol Television on Sunday that the brothers used various objects they found in the crashed plane. They had an awning, a towel, two already discharged cell phones, a flashlight, and an empty soda bottle, which they filled with water from the river. When they fell, the first thing that came to mind [a Lesly] it was how to use that to survive,” said the indigenous leader. They always stayed near the river to stay hydrated and took advantage of the food that was on the plane.

The community explained that the children found one of the emergency supply packages that the military dropped. They also received one of the pamphlets written in Spanish and Uitoto and listened to the grandmother’s call, which through loudspeakers asked them to stay still. There were no visible injuries, save for a healing one on Lesly’s head. She was more concerned with the weak tone of his voice and the wear and tear of his clothes, which were torn and damp after days of facing the constant rains of the jungle.

The children’s maternal grandfather, Narciso Mucutuy, recounted in some videos The Ministry of Defense released Monday that Lesly got his brothers out of the crashed plane and got clothes in their deceased mother’s suitcase. The brothers spent the first four days near the device and ate farina (a cassava flour) that one of the deceased had packed for the trip. Later, after days in which no one appeared, they moved away from the aircraft: “When they saw that four days had passed, they took the trail to the mountains. She [Lesly] He said he didn’t know where he was going to go”.

The children walked for days, until exhaustion prevented them from continuing. “She could no longer walk, she was already very tired, very tired. So they huddled in one place and sat down. She had the little girl between her legs when they found them,” the grandfather said. According to Narciso, the grandchildren were not afraid of the jungle and coped with the rains without problems: “They took twigs, broad leaves and cleared themselves under it.”


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Lesly told her grandfather that they only felt fear when they heard the sound of the helicopters and when they saw rescuers a few steps away from them. They believed that they were going to be punished for hiding: “They never answered, they thought that if they found them they would be hit hard.”

Drawing made by Soleiny Mucutuy from the Military Hospital in Bogota, where he illustrates ‘Wilson’, the rescue dog of the Military Forces, who is still missing in the Guaviare jungle.MILITARY FORCES OF COLOMBIA

The brothers are watching Wilson, a rescue dog who found them, who accompanied them on several occasions and who is now missing. Over the weekend, Lesly and Soleiny gave some drawings to the Commander of the Military Forces, Helder Giraldo, so that he Wilson know, when they rescue him, that they thought of him throughout these days. “Always blessed”, she reads in a drawing that also has a flower, a sun and a Colombian flag. “Wilson”, says another, in which the dog appears next to some trees.

“We cannot make mistakes in decision-making”

A defender from the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare is in charge of the children while a dispute between the father of the two youngest siblings and the maternal family is resolved, the ICBF director reported. According to the official, the grandparents have asked the ICBF to accompany the children directly, and the Institute is evaluating various options for the lives of the siblings once they leave the hospital. “The children are going to stay in the best place, where we can protect them []They have our full attention because they represent a very particular story”, Caceres remarked on Blu Radio. “We cannot make mistakes in decision-making.”

Cristin, the youngest of the siblings, is in an intermediate care room. “Not due to gravity, but because she is the smallest”, highlighted the ICBF official. The others show their preferences for routines that they have missed in recent weeks: reading or listening to stories, getting dressed and eating cassava. But they still don’t talk much, according to Caceres: “As there is more trust, we will know more.”

A spokeswoman for the Institute added on Monday afternoon that the children are doing well and have accepted medical treatment. “They are in very good spirits, they have been coloring, drawing. They love to talk, they have interacted with books. They are very willing to be in this hospitable environment,” she reported. Likewise, the Institute has established a coordination table with the National Organization of the Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon (OPIAC) so that the measures that are taken “are consistent with the culture and ethnic belonging.”



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