Henry Guerrero searched for four indigenous children who were lost in the forest for 30 days. Caquetá after surviving a plane crash.
(Read: Father of rescued children: ‘How are they going to make fun of my children?’)
Guerrero explained the details of the process in dialogue with the media from the Military Hospital and little has been said by the minors since they were rescued on June 9.
(Read: ‘I want to walk but my feet hurt’: What kids say to their relatives)
What was it like when they found the children?
We were so happy when we found them. After 30 days of searching we were already a bit helpless because we had been around for a long time and it was the time that made us desperate. And when we found her (Lesly) it was such a joy. I was somewhat malnourished. But regardless of the girl who didn’t speak, what we admired about the four underage girls was that she didn’t lose consciousness. We asked what they saw, he said ‘no, we were listening to the sound of helicopters with the message from grandma in Huitoto’.
So when we found him we said ‘let’s go, we are from Aracuara and we are looking for you and the comrades from Leguízamo are here too. We found it two kilometers from the starting point on Friday.
Who went there first, you or the army?
No, we went there first.
(Read: History of the rescue: How children survived in the jungle)
How did they communicate from there?
Since we were walking with a unit called ‘Vulture 3’, which they left us for communication, we agreed to do the last research on Friday, the day it was found. But they came. It’s so complicated, you can’t walk. We walked 2 kilometers and came across another unit called ‘TAC 1’ and they had radios. We got there and the kids were picked up there by helicopter.
What did the girl say to them?
The first thing they told us was that they were hungry. They wanted to eat rice pudding, they wanted to eat bread. His mentality was to eat.
Were you the first to arrive?
No, it was his four companions from Putumayo who saved him. Then the rest came.
(Also: First video of the meeting between the Indigenous Guards and Guaviare’s children).
Did they have cabins?
Yes, they had a small tent with an awning, and there was a washcloth on the floor. The boy was already so weak that he could no longer walk. We asked him and they were already where they were for four days.
Did he tell them why they hadn’t met before?
They no longer had any strength. When we found the last evidence of the footprints, we realized that the children had been there for four days. They were no longer walking. They were close. We got that positive energy that they weren’t around anymore and that’s how it happened. And when we saw the traces of a tennis shoe, we said, ‘These are Lesly’s prints, the oldest.’ Of course, when we find him, we ask about his tennis shoes. “It fell into the pipe,” he said. That was the tip he gave us.
Were they near an area where they could drink water?
They were always near a river because they carried small soda bottles (to drink water) with them.
Did he tell you how they carried the baby?
No. We didn’t ask him about that part because we were really worried about getting it right away. We didn’t ask them much. We would tell them we saw footprints in such a place, and they would say, ‘yes we were there, three days, four days’.
How did they tell my father?
I was the first to say to him, ‘Look, they found their child. She started crying.
What else did Lesly say?
He said he had listened to all the messages from the helicopter and called him. The grandmother said in the message: Daughter, don’t move, they’re looking for you. Don’t be afraid of a dog walking around, Wilson. It was the message that flew every three or two days. They listened to them, but they did not know where to go because it was a difficult mountain. It’s a huge field, but it has been accomplished.
Are functions deployed?
He was the eldest who managed all this in 40 days, he was very clever, because we looked at what he was carrying in his briefcase: he took the awning, the towel, the camping gear, he bought a flashlight and a few batteries, but by now it was old, two cell phones, lost in the night I think; a jukebox and a bottle of soda.
HEALTH AND JUSTICE