Missing children in Colombia: survival kits and leaflets dropped in the jungle
Survival kits and thousands of leaflets were dropped in the Colombian jungle over the weekend in an effort to find four children who went missing after a small plane crashed in early May, Colombian officials said.
The president’s office announced in a statement on Monday that 10,000 leaflets in Spanish and indigenous languages were dropped from the helicopter, indicating how to contact emergency services. The military said on Saturday it airdropped about 100 survival kits containing food and water.
More than 160 soldiers are engaged in the search for four children aged thirteen, nine, four and one eleven-month-old missing in the jungle for 22 days.
The Cessna 206 in which they were traveling disappeared from radar on 1 May in the vicinity of San José del Guaviare in the Caquetá (South) department. He was found crushed to the ground on May 15 amidst thick vegetation.
Three bodies were recovered by emergency services, including the mother of the children, the pilot and a leader of the Utoto indigenous community, who were passengers. He was the only adult on board the small plane.
The presidency said a group of tribesmen from seven indigenous peoples from across the country accustomed to the jungle have been participating in the search since the weekend.
Indigenous communities, he added, “carry out a spiritual process of asking the forest to speak and speak to it” and help them locate the children.
Authorities are trying to trace the children using satellite technology to ascertain the route they may have taken through the forest.
Military forces believe they can move around an area of about 323 square kilometres, or 80% of Bogotá, a city of eight million people.
During a search on the ground, they found a footprint, items including a bottle, as well as a makeshift shelter and munching fruit.
Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro announced on Twitter last Wednesday that four children had been rescued and retook the next day, indicating the search was ongoing.