A three-month-old baby who was sleeping in the streets with her parents died this morning of “apparent breathing difficulties” a few meters from Plaza de Mayo. The public prosecutor is investigating the case as a “suspicious death”, according to police sources.
Buenos Aires City police from the Comuna 1 neighborhood police station went to the scene, at the crossroads of Paseo Colón and Hipólito Yrigoyen, after receiving an emergency call saying that a three-month-old baby “appeared to be struggling to breathe”.
When they arrived, the baby “apparently had no vital signs”. Officers from the Argentine Federal Police (PFA) were already present, since they were on duty in the Casa Rosada presidential office just a few meters away, as was an ambulance crew, who confirmed the death, according to the police report.
The parents said that when they woke up, between 5:00 and 5:30 a.m, their daughter was not responding to stimuli and asked for help from PFA officers.
A street vendor in the area who witnessed the events told news channel TN that “the mother came out shouting ‘My baby, my baby!’ when she realised that her daughter wasn’t responding.”
“They came to me to see if I had a phone to call the ambulance, and I told them to go across the street,” he said, referring to the Casa Rosada, where the PFA were working. “The ambulance came after 15 or 20 minutes, but I didn’t look at what was going on. They were there for like an hour. Then I learned that [the baby] had died.”
He said that the parents, who were living in the street, were “young, between 25 and 30”.
The Criminal and Correctional Prosecutor opened a case for “suspicious death” and dispatched the Mobile Criminalistic Unit and psychologists to attend to the baby’s parents.
The tragedy happened a day after official poverty data for the second half of 2022 found that 54% of children aged 14 or under were poor and 12% were destitute. The report, released by Argentina’s National Institute for Statistics and Census (INDEC), found that two in five Argentines are poor and 8% destitute.
The INDEC considers that a family is “destitute” when their monthly income is less than the basic food basket.
It was the first time since the current reporting method was adopted in 2016 that poverty increased even as GDP grew.