Sold Into Brothel: 5 Year Old Abandoned In Colombian Jungle For 5 Years Shares Her Story - CVIEW NEWS

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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Sold Into Brothel: 5 Year Old Abandoned In Colombian Jungle For 5 Years Shares Her Story


Marina Chapman’s life story is one that is so extreme, so inconceivable, that many find it difficult to believe.
Kidnapped from her family at a young age, abandoned in the perilous Colombian jungle, befriended by a troop of reticent primates, and now, decades later, revealed in a best-selling memoir – Marina’s story stands as a radical case of adaptation and survival.
In fact, Marina says she was first reluctant to share her experience with the world because of its extremity, but her daughter, Vanessa James, would not allow the story to fade into oblivion. With persistent coaxing, Marina, along with her daughter Vanessa and writer Lynne Barrett-Lee, worked diligently to piece together a foggy memoir that, once completed, would ignite public controversy and shock readers worldwide.
The Day Everything Changed
Shortly before her fifth birthday, Marina recalls playing in her family’s vegetable garden, which, to her now evanescing memory, was likely in Venezuela or Colombia. She says she became aware of two adults behind her, and before she knew it she was taken away, with sounds of crying children being her last memory before she blacked out.
The next thing she knew she was being driven deep into the Colombian rainforest, where she was then dumped and abandoned. It soon became clear to Marina that no one was coming for her, and that finding some sort of sanctuary was absolutely crucial to her survival.
After countless hours of weeping and wandering the treacherous jungle terrain, Marina stumbled upon a group of small monkeys. She explains how she became completely infatuated by their antics, even feeling envious of their tight-knit bond. However, it was clear the monkeys had no interest in the stray human.

At one point, Marina recalls the moment when things changed between her and the group of primates. After falling severely ill from tamarind food poisoning, Marina says that one of the elderly monkeys, which she now calls “grandpa,” guided her to muddy water. Marina drank the water, vomited, and eventually recovered.
From this moment onwards, Marina says she felt welcomed by the monkeys, and began observing their instinctual behaviour in order to gain some sort of survival skills.  How to climb trees, what was safe to eat, how to clean herself, all of these habits she picked up on quickly.
Thankfully, she soon discovered that if she stood underneath monkeys carrying armfuls of bananas, they would inevitably drop a couple, and if she was quick enough she could grab them for herself. Marina inescapingly found herself assimilating into life in the wild, and as the years went on, who she was before all of this was steadily becoming a distant memory.
A New Family
Marina explains that if it weren’t for the monkeys, which were thought to be capuchins, she most likely wouldn’t have survived. Capuchins are known to be well-cultured towards humans, so it makes sense that they would eventually accept Marina into their territory.
But was Marina actually “raised” by these monkeys? Not entirely, she explains.
They were just tolerating at first. They don’t really love you. One day one of the younger ones landed on my shoulders, and if you’ve never been hugged in your life, and this animal climbs over your shoulders and puts their hands on your face, I tell you it’s the nicest touch,” Marina told the Guardian.
The media wanted to paint a different picture of her story, however, which Marina explains is why many find it difficult to believe. The subtitle of her book boasts, “The Incredible True Story Of A Child Raised By Monkeys,” something she now says is not quite right. Even at five years old she was much bigger than the monkeys. She scavenged food from them, but they didn’t provide for her. But what they did do was invite her into their extended family, something to which Marina feels she is ever indebted.

Life In The Jungle
Days in the jungle were spent thinking about food, Marina says – what to eat, where to find it, and how to get it.
Other than that, she says her favourite pastime was sitting in the trees being groomed by the monkeys. “It gives you goosebumps when they go through your hair and eat the things they find in it. They do it so gently. It feels like a good head massage.”
But even with her acclimatization to the jungle life, Marina yearned for human contact. Hunters, armed with machetes and guns, started occasionally passing close by, the sight of which would frighten Marina at first. But then one day, she decided to approach them.
Naked and walking on all fours, Marina cried for the men to help her. But what happened next was far from salvation.
No Place To Call Home
While then men did bring Marina back to civilzation, it was a far cry from a pleasant new beginning.
Marina was sold into a brothel, where she was regularly beaten and forced to do chores, although she denies any involvement in prostitution. Eventually, Marina gathered courage and made her escape into the streets of Cúcuta, where she bonded with other homeless children.
During this time she survived like all the homeless children survived, through fraud and theft. One trick, she explains, was to creep up on young women wearing short skirts, pull down their underwear, then run off with their bags, which they would usually drop in shock.
Eventually, a friend told Marina she could get off the streets by working for food and lodgings as a domestic. Marina found a family who agreed to take her on and who then renamed her Rosalba. But as it turned out, living with the family proved miserable. They were notorious criminals, she explains, who treated her horribly.

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