Children who survived five weeks in the Colombian jungle will tell their own story: father

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Four indigenous children who have been missing for more than five weeks in Colombia’s southern jungle will tell their own stories of the ordeal, the father of the two youngest siblings said on Sunday.

The children, aged 1 to 13, survived a May 1 plane crash that killed their mother and two other adults and were found in Caqueta province on Friday after weeks of searches by the military and indigenous communities.

Their ordeal began in the early morning, when the Cessna 206 plane carrying seven people and traveling between Araracuara airport in Caqueta and San José del Guaviare, a town in the province of Guaviare, issued a distress alert due to of engine failure.

“They will tell their stories and you will hear them,” said Manuel Ranoque, the father of the 1- and 5-year-old siblings, after visiting them at the military hospital in Bogota.

“It’s not easy to ask them because the kids went 40 days without eating well, so I couldn’t get any information from the oldest child,” Ranoque told reporters.

Ranoque also told reporters that the children’s mother survived for four days after the accident, an account disputed by another family member who also spoke to reporters. Reuters was unable to independently verify the information.

(Reporting by Herbert Villarraga and Liamar Ramos; Writing by Carolina Pulice; Editing by Diane Craft)

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