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British tourist murdered in Buenos Aires in robbery

British tourist murdered in Buenos Aires in robbery

Old Dec 16th, 2019, 05:07 PM
  #1  
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British tourist murdered in Buenos Aires in robbery

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-50797374

As the economy becomes dire, the criminals are more bold and willing to ramp up violence?

Now the govt. is talking about some 20% tax. Things are desperate but it's not going to help bring in money from abroad, which the nation desperately needs.

They're going to have to make a show trial and crack down hard on the perpetrators. If it's some gang, the govt. has to make a show of harsh punishment, to reassure the tourists.
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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 01:01 PM
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I don't think this is anything new. However, it did get some international publicity due to the wealth of the victim. Which has led to arrests.
Apparently an organized gang.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...ls-hall-cover/
"This gang works in the arrivals hall of the Ezeiza airport, where they look for tourists coming from Europe and the United States. From there they begin their pursuit."
"The modus operandi was to spot people at the airport wearing high-end watches, follow them to their destination, and rob them.

"They had a kind of placard, they would pretend to work to work for Uber," he added.

Last edited by mlgb; Dec 18th, 2019 at 01:05 PM.
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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 02:23 PM
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"As the economy becomes dire, the criminals are more bold and willing to ramp up violence?"

I don't think the economy has anything to do with crime.

Countries like Egypt, Sudan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Moldova, Albania, etc. are much-much poorer than anywhere in South America(Bolivia included) but crimes like theft or robbery are much less common than in South America.

"They're going to have to make a show trial and crack down hard on the perpetrators. If it's some gang, the govt. has to make a show of harsh punishment, to reassure the tourists."

I don't think that tourists have to be reassured. Tourists travelling to America(North or South) have always been aware that crime is worse than in Europe or Asia. Also, this is not a headline news. Most people don't even notice it and the rest will forget iot by next week. News of terrorist attacks have a much bigger impact. Tourism is still way down to many Middle Eastern and North African countries which are otherwise much safer than Ltin America.

I think the article summed up well what mistakes the victims have done. Not flashing your wealth and not resisting the criminals.
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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 09:42 PM
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I agree with mlgb that this is nothing new or indeed restricted to Buenos Aires. It happens the world over with thieves employing very similar MO. Back in the early 2000s my BIL was an investigator on what became known as the Rolex murders where criminals were targeting people leaving Harrods in Knightsbridge and following them home to Hertfordshire before attacking and shooting them. It is not an uncommon occurrence. A well known British comedian was driving his Range Rover in London and is car was attacked by thieves with hammers in an attempt to steal his Rolex. It doesn’t take much searching to find similar incidents all,over the world.

Whilst these events are extremely rare, it does highlight the importance of considering how best to stay safe when travelling and how to react if attacked. Maybe leave the good jewellery and watches at home, if attacked, don’t resist. Easy to say but perhaps harder to do in reality.

Whilst there is undoubtedly a correlation between a declining economy/increasing poverty and crime, it is a big leap to assume a major correlation between Argentina's current economic problems and this type of crime. It seems that these were organised gangs that had be operating for a long time. As for the calls by the newly elected president for drastic action, punishment etc. All very well and good but as this gang, by the governments own admisión had been acting for a long time, why hadn’t they acted already. Sound like political opportunism and cynicism’s to me.

My sympathies to the families and friends of those affected.
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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 10:44 PM
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But would it be accurate to say there's something peculiar to BA or Argentina, at this point in time?

Fernandez himself admitted crime rate was up recently as the economic situation becomes more dire.
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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 11:28 PM
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"But would it be accurate to say there's something peculiar to BA or Argentina, at this point in time?" I don’t know that would be accurate. I have a number of Argentine friends who seem to have a divergence of opinion on safety issues. A number seem more concerned about the political and economic situation and its effect on living standards, rather than crime in isolation. I have spent a fair amount of time in the country although it is a couple of years since we were last there, bu have never experienced any issues. I have always considered BA as safe as any other large South American city I have visited and safer than some. We had dire warnings about visiting Mexico, Colombia and, just this month, South Africa and experienced no problems whatsoever. In contrast, I someone slashed my jacket when travelling on the London Underground on the way to my office in London in an attempt to steal my wallet and someone tried to pick my pocket on the subway in Barcelona - both affluent cities in affluent countries.

Fernadez may well say crime is on the increase but I do wonder how a government that can’t even measure RPI accurately, can produce even reasonably accurate crime statistics. Likewise, the assertion in post #3 that those countries mentioned have lower rates of theft and robbery than those in South America - I very much doubt that any of those countries have anything like meaningful records upon which to base a comparison.

These events always hit the headlines and rightly so desperately and desperately sad though this event is, it would not deter me from visiting Argentina. Indeed with the recent falls in the Peso, financially it is becoming a very attractive destination from a cost perspective.
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Old Dec 19th, 2019, 07:38 AM
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"In contrast, I someone slashed my jacket when travelling on the London Underground on the way to my office in London in an attempt to steal my wallet and someone tried to pick my pocket on the subway in Barcelona - both affluent cities in affluent countries."

These are rather cases where a lucrative hunting ground(affluent cities indeed) combined with ineffective law-inforcement and "open borders" attracting criminals from far and wide to these cities. Most pickpockets in London are not from the UK and in Barcelona they're not from Catalunya or not even from Spain. In case of London(and probably Barcelona as well) most of them are Gypsy gangs from Eastern Europe(Bulgaria, Romania).

When Argentina was a rich country it also attracted lots of international criminals.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zwi_Migdal

https://www.theguardian.com/money/20...at-the-thieves


On the other hand Iran, which has very strict laws(some would say cruel) is one of the safest countries on Earth. I spent 2 weeks in Iran travelling around on my own and not for a moment felt any danger, I could walk on the streets even at night completely relaxed.

"the assertion in post #3 that those countries mentioned have lower rates of theft and robbery than those in South America - I very much doubt that any of those countries have anything like meaningful records upon which to base a comparison."

I don't base my comparison on statistics which can be very misleading, but on the experiences of travellers(in some cases including my own experiences).

Last edited by BDKR; Dec 19th, 2019 at 07:44 AM.
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Old Dec 19th, 2019, 09:19 AM
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Anywhere with an influx of relatively wealthy tourists carrying electronics (cellphones, pocket cameras), flashing expensive watches, toting backpacks and other luggage and not paying attention, is going to attract a professional criminal class, whether they are locals or not. I doubt that anyone can prove that it is getting worse due to the economy? I think we just hear about these things more with the instant/24 hour news cycle. Fighting over belongings was an unfortunate instinct that wound up badly, for someone not used to/expecting armed criminals.

Here in Los Angeles its easier to target a specific home vs hanging out at an airport checking out the prospects. Tighter security at most terminals, also.

https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2019...obbery-encino/

Last edited by mlgb; Dec 19th, 2019 at 09:38 AM.
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Old Dec 19th, 2019, 11:01 AM
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I remember reading that 40% of the population in the metro area live in poverty.

If you visit La Boca during the day you see soldiers or police out with guns. You are too not to visit at night and you’re warned not to go to certain areas during the day.

Even in Recoleta you see bars on the windows of high rise buildings several stories up.

Restaurants keep their doors locked, let in patrons and lock the door behind them.

Sure there are sketchy areas in all big cities but BA seems different.
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Old Dec 19th, 2019, 02:44 PM
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"If you visit La Boca during the day you see soldiers or police out with guns. You are too not to visit at night and you’re warned not to go to certain areas during the day.Even in Recoleta you see bars on the windows of high rise buildings several stories up.Restaurants keep their doors locked, let in patrons and lock the door behind them.Sure there are sketchy areas in all big cities but BA seems different."

It doesn't look that different from other large Latin American cities.

"I remember reading that 40% of the population in the metro area live in poverty."

In Bangladesh it's like 90% of the population living in poverty(much worse poverty than anyone in Argentina can imagine), still you're far more likely to get invited for chai by the man who lives from 5 dollars/day(including his family) than to get robbed by him.

But we don't need to go that far. Cuba is much poorer than Argentina, yet it's probably the safest country of America.

"Anywhere with an influx of relatively wealthy tourists carrying electronics (cellphones, pocket cameras), flashing expensive watches, toting backpacks and other luggage and not paying attention, is going to attract a professional criminal class, whether they are locals or not."

There is a lot of truth in this generalisation, but there are plenty of exceptions all over the world.

Dubai is one of the wealthiest cities of the world, including wealthy tourists, yet they manage to stay basically free of crime, but I could mention Singapore as well and many other places.
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Old Dec 19th, 2019, 03:35 PM
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Yeah I’ve only been to Vietnam once and Ho Chi Mihn and Hanoi doesn’t seem to have gangs on motorcycles.

I’d heard about thieves on motorcycles in BA who’d grab valuable items out of your hands if you’re not paying attention but apparently now some are armed and they will commit violence if you resist,

In European big cities, most of the attempted thefts are not violent nor involve threats of violence.
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Old Dec 19th, 2019, 03:59 PM
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Off with their hands!!
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Old Dec 19th, 2019, 04:35 PM
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"I’d heard about thieves on motorcycles in BA who’d grab valuable items out of your hands if you’re not paying attention but apparently now some are armed and they will commit violence if you resist,"

It's on the rise in London as well.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/artic...c-956c688829c4

I guess some of these criminals never hesitated to use violence. I remember when a French tourist was stabbed to death about 10 years ago when he hesitated to hand over his camera to the thief. You should never fight with thieves if you can't run away. Not even with kids, since they could be armed as well or their big brother may be nearby. I helps to have a dummy wallet with a small amount of money and expired cards, and a dummy phone,although that doesn't help if they after your camera.

https://en.mercopress.com/2012/02/08...vinas-memorial

"In European big cities, most of the attempted thefts are not violent nor involve threats of violence."

Yeah, it's mostly pickpocketing, but I think that violence is on the rise too(especially against women). That's what happens when you let in a large number of unknown people from countries where criminals get much more severe punishment and policemen are not afraid to use violence against criminals and when they see that in places like Sweden they can do pretty much whatever they want(in the worst case a couple of years in a comfy jail with all mod-cons) they feel like a kid in the candy store. 50 hours of community service for brutally raping a 12 year old child? Had he done this in the presumably Islamic country where he comes from he had been most certainly killed by the family of the victim.

https://nationalfile.com/sweden-rapi...g-12-year-old/

"Off with their hands!"

That certainly seems to be working in Iran! I never heard of any traveller who got anything stolen in Iran and I don't recall seeing any people without fingers either, so in most cases the threat itself is probably a good enough deterrent.

Although caning seems to be just as effective.

https://www.dw.com/en/the-invisible-...ane/a-18298970


Last edited by BDKR; Dec 19th, 2019 at 05:19 PM.
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Old Dec 19th, 2019, 10:59 PM
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Wow! If in doubt blame the immigrants and introduce sharia law!
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Old Dec 20th, 2019, 01:12 AM
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LOL

Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, is one of the safest as far as violent crime is concerned.

In fact, I'd feel safer in La Paz than in Paris.

Last edited by mlgb; Dec 20th, 2019 at 01:18 AM.
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Old Dec 20th, 2019, 02:11 AM
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Indeed mlgb, although I did foil an attempt at picking my pocket up in El Alto. I put my hand in my pocket at the same time as a tiny Cholita lady who must have been in her 70s. I don’t know who was more surprised, her or me! We ended up holding hands for a while and then parted company!
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Old Dec 20th, 2019, 11:11 AM
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"In fact, I'd feel safer in La Paz than in Paris."

I'm not surprised at all, and the safety in Paris is getting worse all the time since the Germans left it in 1944.
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