Six weeks have now past in my life in Buenos Aires and I have seen quite a bit. Almost every weekend I have travelled to a different part of Buenos Aires and a different city to be able to get to know the country, its people, and its culture.
I’ve made numerous friends and since my last post on the safety in Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires is changing visit before its too late, I have realized that there is a false sense of security in the city. I have gotten a lot of heat on that post so I wanted to follow up with what I have experienced in the last few weeks.
Yes all this is recent
I have friends that live in the city, for years, and they have even been victim to some of the dangers that you should be careful of. These are Argentinians who have lived in the city all their life, not someone who just arrived yesterday. Now it’s not Nigeria dangerous but the city is far from United States safe. Many ask is Buenos Aires dangerous? I can only answer that it’s safer than most of the cities in South America but you still need to have caution when getting around the city.
There have been two separate cases of kidnappings that I have been aware of, all from the family of close friends. The first was a teenager who was kidnapped and killed. Yes, you read that correct, he was kidnapped and killed.
The second gentleman is from Argentina and was part of an attempted kidnapping but due to the six foot linebacker body that this man was blessed with, he simply was too big to fit into the small European car trunk. I do find it funny that they tried to kidnap him and they kept hitting him over the head with the trunk door, he still laughs to this day, but get serious this is no laughing matter!
My theory is that they target the very upper class in the highest class areas of Buenos Aires. They seem to know when and where to be at a certain time and I wouldn’t be surprised with the corruption in the city that the police have something to do with it.
Rest assured that if you are dressed in a tourist t-shirt and shorts, the likely-hood of you getting kidnapped is extremely low.
Going out to party with friends and taking your camera out to take pictures isn’t going to raise a red flag. You should be very aware of your surroundings and don’t flash your fancy cell phone or camera. Use it when you need and then put it in your pocket.
When walking at night if you are in a group of 2 or more they aren’t going to mess with you, unless of course you are walking away from the group which leads me to my next story.
Just last night I went home early from the festivities that were going to take over Palermo Soho. We were a group of about 7 and had the VIP area reserved. I went home to be responsible since I already pulled my share of all nighters over the weekend. This morning I woke up with a text message “we had a great time until we got mugged”.
Upon further clarification, one of the girls in the group was walking behind everyone and two Argentineans came and mugged her at knife point. Good news is nothing happened to her and they only took her cell phone, she’s gangster! All 4 feet 11 inches of her! You know the popular Nokia phones that were viral in the 1990’s?
Yes that fancy piece of technology was taken. No biggie.
The point is that Buenos Aires is changing and you have to be careful when you get to the city, is Buenos Aires Dangerous? I would say yes if you aren’t paying attention. Some people just are asking to get robbed. You don’t have to avoid taking pictures or talking to people, you simply have to keep an extra eye open on your surroundings.
If you are walking alone at night, walk with a pace, I cannot count the amount of times I was completely alone walking home; texting, Facebook-ing, Twitter-ing (is that a word? I know its tweeting but that was funnier admit it). I always keep an extra eye out on my surroundings; who is watching me, if anyone is following, if I should get her phone number, wait? What? I guess that’s the end of this post…..