The children survived for 40 days in the Colombian forest, the father arrested for child abuse


By John

He had actively participated in the research and moved the world with the story of the last hours of his wife’s life. But now she weighs the most serious shame, that of having abused two minors, on Manuel Ranoquefather and stepfather of the four indigenous brothers who escaped a plane crash in Colombia and found themselves in June after 40 days spent in the Amazon jungle.

The man was arrested on charges of abusing a 14-year-old minor and another teenager, according to what was announced by the Caquetá prosecutor’s office. Ranoque is the father of the two youngest children who survived the plane crash: Tien Noriel, 4 years old, and Cristin Noriman, just one year old (completed while he was in the jungle). While he is stepfather to the other two: Lesly, 13, and Soleiny, 9. The mother of the four, Magdalena Mucutuy, died in the plane crash. The story of the Ranoque-Mucutuy family, belonging to the indigenous Huitoto ethnic group, seemed like one with a happy ending. Ranoque, a community leader from Puerto Sabalo, had led the way to the special forces soldiers in the beaten forest until the happy ending, when the hopes of finding the still alive children seemed lost.

The images of the four little brothers wrapped up in thermal blankets, looking disoriented and undernourished bodies, went around the world and enchanted the international community. No one would have suspected that, behind the apparent family serenity, such a drama was hidden. The grandparents of the children, Narciso Mucutuy and Fatima Valencia, denounced that Ranoque would have tried to rape his stepdaughter Lesly and, on several occasions, he would have also mistreated his wife Magdalena. According to press reports, the children made statements two weeks ago that led to Ranoque’s arrest. The Colombian Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF), which has them in custody, after the stories of the children, allegedly forbade the man to approach and have contact with them. The ICBF has also assured that the children are in good health and that it is collaborating with the public prosecutor’s office, in the hope that the integrity of the four minors will continue to be protected.