BOGOTA--Colombian President Gustavo Petro on Monday gave 86 medals to Indigenous and military rescuers who worked to find four children who survived a plane crash in the country's Amazon and lived for more than five weeks in the jungle. The children, aged 1 through 13, survived the May 1 crash that killed their mother and two other adults and were found earlier this month.
The Indigenous children's knowledge of the jungle, as well as the eldest sister's courage, have been credited by officials with saving their lives. "Now there is no debate about whether Western or traditional wisdom is more important," Petro said of the rescue efforts. "Together they brought the children back." The siblings remain hospitalized but the government has said they are recovering satisfactorily. One military rescue dog, Wilson, went missing himself during the operation.
Though efforts to find him continued after the children were found, his rescue is now unlikely, a military official told local media. Wilson was the recipient of one of the medals.