A baby girl has died after thieves drowned her in a pool while robbing her mother.
Angélica Murillo was playing with her nine-month-old baby daughter Maria in a plastic pool in the backyard of their home in San Pedro de Suma, Ecuador on Saturday when two men approached them, Ecuadorian newspaper El Universo reports.
They told Ms Murillo they were visiting as part of a dog vaccination program but she told them she had no pets. They left and returned later.
They intimidated Ms Murillo and demanded money – forcing her back into the house. They also took Maria from her and put the baby in the pool.
Ms Murillo gave them money but it wasn’t enough to appease them. They tied her up and searched the house for more.
A motorcycle heard in the distance spooked the two burglars and they fled.
Ms Murillo’s kicking and screaming was heard by her 12-year-old daughter who was playing with a neighbour.
The little girl came back to the home and found the baby in the pool. It is not clear if she was dead at this stage. She then untied her mum.
Ms Murillo tried to resuscitate Maria but sadly she could not be saved.
Police are still searching for the two men responsible.
Ecuador and crime
Crime is a widespread problem throughout Ecuador.
Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso just last week renewed a 30-day state of emergency in nine of the country's 24 provinces, as his government seeks to curb crime it says is connected to drug consumption and trafficking.
The renewal will keep military patrols on the streets in areas with high rates of homicide and other crimes associated with the drug trade.
Mr Lasso had originally decreed a 60-day state of emergency last month. The country's constitutional court reduced the duration to 30 days and said the military can only support the police when their help is justified.
"The President Guillermo Lasso has renewed the state of emergency declared on October 18, 2021...for a period of 30 more days in the provinces of El Oro, Guayas, Santa Elena, Manabi, Los Rios, Esmeraldas, Santo Domingo, Pichincha and Sucumbios," Mr Lasso's press office said late on Thursday.
In a decree published on Friday, Lasso said the measures taken during the state of emergency's first 30 days had been effective but have not neutralised the causes of rising crime.
The homicide rate fell from 1.84 per 100,000 inhabitants in September to 0.63 so far in November, the government said in the decree.
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