The Colombian military and indigenous authorities involved in the search for the four children missing for 23 days in an area of the Colombian Amazon have found signs that they may be alive, according to El País newspaper. The Army reported that diapers, a cell phone accessory, a towel and a pair of sneakers were recently found at two different locations about 600 meters from the plane crash site.
The military believes these marks are signs that the four brothers, aged between 11 months and 13 years, are still alive after the plane crash. There was also a shelter made of branches, which contained scissors, a hair tie and a bitten apple. Investigators believe these items indicate the children survived the fall without serious injuries, as no traces of blood were found nearby.
The Colombian army said the discovery reinforces the gigantic effort of Operation Hope, which involves more than 350 people, including state institutions, civilians and communities, who are using all their technological resources, knowledge and experience to achieve the impossible to overcome and save the four children.
The children traveled with their mother, another adult and the pilot from Araracuara to San José del Guaviere, the region’s capital, on May 1. However, while flying over Caquetá, over the Apaporis River in the Amazon jungle, the small plane reported an engine failure and lost contact with the control tower. On the 16th day of the search, the bodies of the three adults were found, but the children were not at the scene. The area where the single engine wreck was found is difficult to access and visibility is limited to less than 20 meters away.
Last week, Colombian President Gustavo Petro announced on social media that the children had been found alive and well. He later withdrew the ad, apologized and recanted.