The father of two of the four children who survived a plane crash that killed their mother and two other adults, and then survived 40 days alone in the Amazon jungle, has been arrested.
The Colombian Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that officials arrested Manuel Ranoque, 32, who is the father of the children ages one and 4 in the accident and the stepfather of the two girls, ages 9 and 13.
Authorities gave few details about the arrest, but media reports said the case involved allegations of abuse.
Astrid Eliana Cáceres, director of the Colombian Family Welfare Institute, said the state agency has been working with authorities.
“We learned of the capture of the father of two minors from Mucutuy and we believe that the prosecution has acted within the full framework of the law,” he said.
They detained the father of two of the four children who survived the plane crash that killed their mother and two other adults, and then survived 40 days alone in the Amazon jungle
Exclusive photos show the four siblings, Lesly, 13, Soleiny, nine, Tien Noriel, four, and baby Cristin, one, safe in their hospital beds at a military hospital in Bogotá, Colombia.
Ranoque had been involved in a custody fight over the children with their maternal grandparents.
Her mother died four days after the accident, according to the eldest daughter, Lesly.
The four brothers have remained in the custody of Colombia’s child protection agency since they left the hospital after recovering from malnutrition and other ailments.
His maternal grandfather, Narciso Mucutuy, accused Ranoque of beating his mother, Magdalena Mucutuy.
Before authorities confirmed his arrest, Ranoque acknowledged to reporters that there had been trouble at his home, but said he considered it a private family matter and not “gossip” to the rest of the world.
Asked if he had assaulted his wife, Ranoque replied: ‘Verbally all of a sudden, yes. Physically, very little, because we did more fight of words.
The arrest was made in Bogotá according to The countrya newspaper in Spanish.
The director of the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF), Astrid Cáceres, told the outlet that the brothers are doing well.
Ranoque and the military participated in the rescue mission in which the 32-year-old admitted having used hallucinogens to have visions that could take him to displaced minors
‘Children are still in the process of establishing their rights. We are not going to expose them to any other exercise. His story and his personal life are his own,” she said.
Magdalena Mucutuy, the mother of the four children, died in a plane crash when they were traveling to Bogotá to meet Ranoque, who had fled from an indigenous reservation where he was governor, according to the outlet.
It has been denounced that Ranoque was trying to escape after denouncing threats from the Carolina Ramírez Front – a group led by ex-guerrillas – for control of Putumayo and Caquetá, two areas of the Colombian Amazon, near the border with Ecuador and Peru. who play a critical role in drug trafficking.
The children survived thanks to cassava flour found in the luggage of one of the deceased, fruits from the jungle and a package of emergency supplies dropped by the military.
Ranoque and the military participated in the rescue mission in which the 32-year-old admitted to having used hallucinogens to have visions that could lead them to the displaced minors.
When the children were finally found in June, complaints began to surface from the children’s maternal grandparents.
The ICBF took charge of the children while they investigated allegations of child abuse, accusations vehemently denied by Ranoque, who was demanding custody.
“They are my children, not the president’s,” he told the newspaper in July.
Magdalena Mucutuy, the mother of the four children, died in a plane crash when they were traveling to Bogotá to meet Ranoque
DailyMail.com spoke to Valencia’s brother, Dairo, as he sat in the lobby of his hotel in Bogotá. “We didn’t know that Magdalena was leaving with the children,” Dairo said. ‘The most painful thing is that my sister never said goodbye to us’
The maternal grandparents, Narciso Mucutuy and María Fátima Valencia, denounced that Ranoque “beat her daughter and mistreated her grandchildren.”
They have also been fighting for custody of the children.
A few weeks ago, it was reported that Ranoque filed a million-dollar lawsuit against Avianline Charters, the owner of the plane that crashed.
DailyMail.com confronted Ranoque on the street after claims he abused Magdalena and her family exclusively said he was having an affair.
Wearing what appeared to be new red and white Nike high-tops, designer jeans, and a colorful necklace of indigenous beads emblazoned with images of toucans and a tiger’s head, she dodged our questions.
Asked if he had any response to the claim that he physically hit Magdalena, one of the caretakers with him shook his head, saying: “Don’t answer that.”
Ranoque, who was outside the military hospital where the four children are recovering at the time, said: “I can’t talk about that.”
I can not say anything. They have forbidden me to say anything. They are personal issues.
It was not clear who he was referring to when he said ‘they’, but it was understood that he retained a lawyer.
The four indigenous children are pictured after being rescued. They were missing for six weeks in the Colombian Amazon jungle after a plane crash
Belgian Shepherd Wilson played a vital role in the search for the four children, but he is still missing in the Amazon jungle.
Asked if he would discuss the bailout, he declined, saying: ‘I can’t right now. Because I have to go to the stores to buy clothes before they close. She did not say if it was shopping for him or for the children.
DailyMail.com previously exclusively revealed that Magdalena’s brother, Dairo Mucutuy, 30, believed Ranoque was cheating on his sister.
Ranoque, who has been very eloquent in claiming his rights to the four survivors, left Magdalena in her indigenous community for Bogotá, alleging that he was being threatened by the FARC guerrillas in his homeland.
But once in the sprawling capital city, the father of the two youngest children allegedly had an affair and then brought the woman back to live in the southern tribal area, tearing apart his wife of seven years, her brother Dairo said. to DailyMail.com.
Ranoque then left for Bogotá again, but kept the mother-of-four in hopes they could re-establish a relationship, Dairo said at the time.
Sitting in the lobby of his hotel in Bogotá, Dairo calmly revealed to us: ‘What happened is that Manuel had come to this city and here he deceived my sister.
The thing is, he took the woman he cheated with to the community. So my sister, of course, left her house because of the affair and came to live with me, my partner and our two children.
Dairo, who has come to the capital from his base in the homeland of the Huitoto indigenous group to offer his support to the surviving children, continued: ‘Manuel returned to Bogotá, but he left him a bag and inside was a piece of paper with a phone number. .
‘Magdalena was communicating with him. But we noticed that when she talked to him she hid. And sometimes we heard her cry.
“We believe that they somehow tricked her into trying to come to Bogotá. We’re not exactly sure why.
“We didn’t know that Magdalena was leaving with the children,” Dairo said. ‘The most painful thing is that my sister never said goodbye to us.
‘We didn’t get to talk. It hurt me when I found out what was happening between her and Manuel. I’m so sad that I never got to talk to her properly about it. I felt like I didn’t want to push her about something that was so difficult for her.
I was waiting for the right moment. But that moment never came because obviously she made the decision to leave and we didn’t know it.
‘Just before, he came to a community meeting and we thought he was going to our aunt’s house. We didn’t know that her goal was to take that plane. She maybe she felt confused. We will never know now.
Amid growing acrimony over the children’s future, Dairo said: ‘The hope is that the children stay together, because of what they went through.
‘Lesly got them through all of this. And that creates a special bond. We want them to always be together and for Manuel not to fight for custody.
I have spoken with the father of the two oldest, Andrés. He has seen the children and told me that this is not the time for fights and divisions. It’s time to focus on the well-being, safety and comfort of children.’