National Pediatric Institute. The youngster underwent surgery at the National Pediatric Institute.

Girl, 6, loses eye after struck by stray bullet while sleeping

The bullet pierced a sheetmetal roof at the home in Iztapalapa

In Iztapalapa, Mexico City, not even sleep provides a completely safe haven from the violence that can suddenly break out in the streets of the capital’s most crowded borough.

A stray bullet struck a 6-year old girl while she slept, striking her in the eye.

The bullet pierced the house’s sheetmetal roof and struck the sleeping girl at 2:00am on Saturday in the El Manto neighborhood. Family members rushed the girl to the Iztapalapa Pediatric Hospital but were turned away by hospital staff, who said there were no ophthalmologists on duty.

To draw attention to the girl’s plight, neighbors blocked Ermita Iztapalapa avenue and Javier Rojo Gómez avenue for over an hour. The government intervened, and the girl was transferred first to the Tláhuac General Hospital and finally to the National Pediatric Institute.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said the child’s condition was stable after surgery and that two government agencies were engaged in talks with the girl’s family.

On Sunday, Mexico City Attorney General Ernestina Godoy said an investigation into the incident had been opened.

“We are putting together an investigation, and we are looking into what was going on in the area around the El Manto neighborhood at that time. We want to know if there were parties, conflicts or anything like that to pinpoint where [the bullet] came from.”

She added that more measures were needed both at the federal and local level to prevent rampant arms trafficking in the area.

On July 4, 450 elements of the National Guard began operations in the Desarrollo Urbano Quetzalcóatl neighborhood in Iztapalapa, a zone widely considered to be one of Mexico City’s most dangerous.

It was the third incident in two weeks in which children were victims of stray bullets.

Source: El Universal (sp), Animal Político (sp), Excélsior (sp)

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