Tragic Killing of 11-Year-Old Prompts Suspension of Argentina Election Campaigns

The tragic loss of an 11-year-old girl during a drive-by robbery, captured on grainy security footage in Buenos Aires, has sent shockwaves through Argentina. As a result, all major candidates have opted to cancel their final campaign rallies in the lead-up to the national primary elections scheduled for Sunday.

Morena Domínguez fell victim to two robbers on a motorcycle as she was on her way to school early Wednesday morning in Lanús, a district of Buenos Aires. The assailants forcibly took her mobile phone, causing her to tumble to the pavement and lose consciousness. Despite efforts, she succumbed to her injuries in a Lanús hospital, as reported by the district’s security minister, Diego Kravetz.

The tragic incident triggered protests within Lanús and steered the nation’s political discourse toward the issue of crime in the days preceding the crucial vote. Campaign activities that were in full swing quickly ground to a halt.

Axel Kicillof, the incumbent seeking reelection as the governor of Buenos Aires province, temporarily suspended his campaign. Similarly, Lanús’s mayor, Néstor Grindetti, who aspired to become the gubernatorial candidate for the primary opposition coalition, also paused his campaign efforts.

Sergio Massa, the economy minister and a presidential hopeful for the ruling party, canceled his planned closing rally for Thursday.

Even the two prominent figures vying for the presidency within the main opposition camp, Buenos Aires’ mayor, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, and former security minister Patricia Bullrich, decided to call off their final campaign events.

In Argentina, participation in the primary elections is obligatory, and the results serve as a significant gauge of public sentiment ahead of the general elections in October.

Bullrich expressed her sentiments on social media, stating, “We cannot continue living with such anguish and fear.” Her campaign has prominently centered around a tough-on-crime stance.

Larreta wrote, “Words cannot capture the extent of this pain.”

The untimely passing of the 11-year-old girl dominated the country’s news coverage across all major channels, effectively redirecting the campaign’s focus from economic issues in a nation grappling with an annual inflation rate exceeding 100%.

Regular opinion polls consistently highlight inflation and crime as the top concerns among voters.