Father of Colombian children who survived plane crash accused of abuse
Colombian military soldiers pose for a photo after the rescue of child survivors from a Cessna 206 plane that crashed on May 1 in the jungles of Caqueta, in limits between Caqueta and Guaviare, in this handout photo released June 9, 2023. Presidency/Handout via REUTERS
Colombian prosecutors announced sexual abuse charges on Saturday against the father of two of the four Indigenous children who survived a May plane crash in the South American country’s Amazon region.
The children went missing after the small plane they were traveling in went down, killing their mother and two other adults.
In a statement, prosecutors accused Manuel Ranoque of sexually abusing his 13-year-old step daughter, who was widely credited with ensuring that she and her younger siblings survived the more than five-week-long ordeal in the Amazon that garnered headlines across the globe.
Ranoque, who was arrested on Friday, stands accused of abusing his step daughter since she was 10 years old, according to the statement.
Reuters was not able to locate Ranoque or his lawyer after hours on Saturday to request comment.
The children, aged 1 through 13, were hospitalized for over a month after they were rescued in June. Since then, have been in the care of Colombia’s family welfare institute, where prosecutors claim the alleged abuse was first suspected.