Mexican officer breastfed baby after Hurricane Otis. She was promoted.

Trisha D.
4 Min Read

Two days after Hurricane Otis made landfall in Acapulco on Oct. 25, Mexican police Officer Arizbeth Dionisio Ambrosio was busy removing fallen trees, light poles and cars washed away by the storm when she heard a baby wailing.

Ambrosio, 33, was among the hundreds of Mexican police mobilized to help residents who had lost nearly everything to the Category 5 storm, she told The Washington Post. But Ambrosio is also a mother of two.

“I focused on the baby and asked her how could we help her,” Ambrosio said, referring to a woman with the baby.

The woman, who Ambrosio believes was the baby boy’s mother or aunt, said the newborn was likely hungry. Ambrosio, who is still breastfeeding her own 1-year-old, asked if she could try to feed the stranger’s child.

“‘Well, if you could do this, please go ahead,’” the woman said, according to Ambrosio.

As soon as the woman placed the nearly 4-month-old baby on Ambrosio’s upper body, the baby’s cries eased.

Hurricane Otis’s impact on the west coast of Mexico killed more than 40 people and wrecked the beach city of Acapulco, with economic losses expected to top $10 billion.

Ambrosio, whose Mexico City police unit traveled to the state of Guerrero in the wake of the storm, remained so focused on breastfeeding the boy that she did not ask the family for further details — like his name, or for how long and why he’d been without milk.

“When you are in a situation like that, you do not think whether to help or not,” Ambrosio told The Post in Spanish. “When she gave me the baby, I remembered my two children at home. I felt peace because I was with the baby giving him what he needed at the moment.”

After she finished nurturing the baby, both Ambrosio and the woman thanked each other and parted ways. Ambrosio grabbed her helmet, first aid kit and other tools to continue with the search and rescue operation.

That was the last time she saw the baby.

Days later, Ambrosio’s supervisor asked her to come to the headquarters of the secretary of security for Mexico City once she was back from the trip. There Ambrosio met with Pablo Vázquez Camacho, the top official of the city’s police, who asked her about the experience with the baby.

Then, Ambrosio said, Camacho informed her that her noble act had earned her a promotion from “policía primera” to “suboficial,” putting her on a leadership track to manage a team of other officers.

“For her vocation of service to the citizens and for raising the name of Policía Ciudad de México, my colleague Arizbeth Dionisio Ambrosio from the #Zorros Group, who protected the life of a baby in #Acapulco, was promoted,” Camacho wrote on social media. “Her work is an example of #humanism for all.”

But Ambrosio, who said she was taken aback by the promotion, doesn’t consider what she did to be anything noble, heroic or out of the ordinary.

“It was what I needed to do and I did it,” said Ambrosio, adding that her job often requires her to be attuned to people in distress. “It’s in those situations where you meet children, adults, people that — more than an object — need someone who will listen to them.”

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