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I want to hug them,” said Maria Fatima Valencia, the grandmother, upon hearing Friday that the children were alive and well. “My heart sighs.”

Monday, June 12, 2023. REALLY? Surely you jest. . . . NO, no jesting, and don’t call me Shirley. . . 😁

Welcome to our Monday Free Chat here on NV, where the topics our yours and we focus the OP on the environment — that of earth, space, sea, humans, animals and all the news that’s fit to print. Sure, environmental news can be post-apocalyptic , zombified and drear, or as in today’s story, it can be harmonizing, life affirming, a triumph of the least of these, children, animals, grandmothers, indigenous tribes, military privates, nurses and volunteers. The least of these. . .

Topics are free, civility is a given, conversation enhances and souls seek solutions. Happy Monday, News Viewers. . . .

The skies over Colombia’s Amazon have seen many accidents. “But even when the pilot manages to lift the old plane off the dirt track used as runway, navigation can be challenging. “We don’t have cruise controls, or any sort of computer; sometimes all you see is just the blue of the sky and the green of the forest,” says Calderon, a pilot.
Indigenous advocates have said the tragedy is a result of governmental negligence. Following news of the crash, the Organization of Indigenous People in the Colombian Amazon issued a statement accusing Bogota of failing to enforce safety checks and protocols for planes in the region.

The organization’s president Julio Cesar Lopez told CNN he hoped for a congressional investigation that would prevent future tragedies. The planes themselves are often of the older sort. The 206 that crashed with the kids was over 40 years old, but some of the aircraft still used in the Amazon can be up to 80 years old, according to Calderon.

In a statement to CNN, the Colombia’s Civil Aviation authority said, “Colombian law does not establish a maximum age for aircrafts operating in the country as long as they comply with all maintenance protocols. Moreover, this type of older airplanes are often the most apt to operate in the limited infrastructure of the airfields in the Colombian Amazon. The institution is aware of these situations and promotes a safety program to mitigate risks related to flying in older aircrafts.”

The three adults onboard, including the pilot and the children’s mother, Magdalena Mucutuy, died in the crash. But only traces of the children have been found in the surrounding forests: a baby bottle, a makeshift shelter, a dirty diaper and even what appeared to be small footprints.

These discoveries have fueled hopes that 13-year-old Lesly Jacobombaire Mucutuy, Soleiny Jacobombaire Mucutuy, 9, Tien Ranoque Mucutuy, 4, and infant Cristin Ranoque Mucutuy survived. However, a massive search by hundreds of soldiers and indigenous scouts has so far been fruitless, more than four weeks since the crash.

I want to hug them,” said Maria Fatima Valencia, the grandmother, upon hearing Friday that the children were alive and well. “My heart sighs.”

The four children who miraculously survived on their own in the Colombian jungle for more than a month after their plane crashed lived because their grandmother taught them how to fish, hunt and find safe food in the wild, authorities said.

But as the children lay recovering in hospitals, rescuers said their work wasn’t done: a sniffer dog who was key to helping rescuers track down the kids is now lost, according to reports. 

Translation of Tweet: “The search has not ended. Our premise: No one is left behind. The soldiers continue the operation to find Wilson.”

Lesly, the eldest sibling, “told us about the puppy,” Cáceres told news outlets.

The children recalled “the puppy that was lost, that they do not know where it was and that it accompanied them for a while,” she added.

While the country celebrates the miraculous rescue of the children, the military’s mission is not yet over.

The siblings, who ranged in age from 1 to 13 years, were found alive and well in the Colombian jungle this week, 40 days after the May 1 crash of the plane in which they were traveling.

The siblings managed to survive because their indigenous grandmother taught the eldest how to hunt and fish, and which fruits and seeds were safe to eat in the rainforest, according to reports.

The BBC, NPR, News8000.Com, The New York Post,