In a miraculous development that has captivated the nation, four brothers lost in the Colombian jungle for 40 days have been found alive and well. President Gustavo Petro made the announcement on Friday, to the jubilation of the entire country.
The boys had been traveling with three adults when their plane suffered an engine failure on May 1st and crashed in the middle of the Amazon jungle. While some of the occupants were found after 17 days, the four boys had gone missing. The children — Lesly Jacobo Bonbaire (13 years old), Solecni Ranoque Mucutuy (9 years old), Tien Noriel Ronoque Mucutuy (4 years old) and Cristian Neryman Ranoque Mucutuy (1 year old) — are said to be members of the Uitoto tribe and live near the Cahuinarí River, in Caquetá.
A massive search operation ensued, involving 120 members of the special forces, 73 indigenous people, and aerial droppings of survival kits. The most remarkable detail has been the age of the youngest brother, who had just turned one year old when the plane went down. Despite facing immense danger in the Colombian jungle, with its plethora of wildlife, this baby survived the entire ordeal.
The children were eventually discovered in the jungle, dehydrated and riddled with mosquito bites — but amazingly alive. One of the boys had also acquired a kind of companion during their journey—a stray dog that kept them company while inspiring hope of being found. The rescue mission itself was quite a spectacular feat, with the boys pulled up into the air as helicopters could not land in the thick forest.
The incredible discovery has captured the public’s imagination. “A joy for the whole country,” President Petro said in a tweet. The story of the four brothers is a welcome one in the midst of a tumultuous national political situation — it serves a reminder that even in the most dire of situations hope remains and that in the words of Petro, “the power of life always prevails.”