A brother and sister have died from poisonous fruit they are said to have mistaken for apples.
The siblings aged five and three-years-old tucked into fruit growing in their grandmother's garden on October 17 but it was not for some hours later that they began to violently vomit.
Young Jhofran Mathias Gonzalez Chaya and Amira Jhasley Chaya ate from a small tree known locally as 'bola de toro' or 'huevo de toro' in the village of Montecitos in the municipality of Rio de Oro, Colombia.
Local news outlet Noticias RCN reports the family were visiting to the country from their native Venezuela when the children died.
Their neighbour Jesus Elias Vanegas said: "The children thought they were apples and ate them. At the time, nothing happened, but hours later they started to vomit and showed all the symptoms of poisoning."
The siblings were taken to the Emiro Quintero Canizares Hospital, where they remained for two days, according to the local news outlet El Pilon.
The children's father said: "The boy ate six fruits and the girl four. We took them to the hospital so they could be treated, but as we're from Venezuela and the insurance they had didn't count for much, the girl got worse and what they did was give her serum until she was sent to the ICU, where she died."
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The parents decided to seek help from the Ombudsman's Office of Colombia so their remaining child could be transferred to a better-equipped hospital in the city of Cucuta. Although the transfer was authorised, the boy suffered a cardiac arrest en route and died.
The children had arrived in Colombia with their parents from Venezuela, which has been undergoing a socio-economic and political crisis since 2010.
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They were staying in their grandmother's house, which is where the accident took place.
On Tuesday October 19, the village's police commissioner Jesus Emilio Sanchez ordered everyone in the village with 'bola de toro' on their property to get rid of the poisonous evergreen shrubs or risk being fined. The ornamental plant is reportedly common in the area.
The bereaved parents are reportedly receiving counselling in the nearby town of Ocana, where the children were due to be buried before their parents return to their home country.
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