Break-In and Rape in Palermo on Guatemala


Jul 13, 2005
Just a security note (mostly for new arrivals and especially for women here on their own):

I was just watching C5N -- last night a Belgian woman staying in an apartment on Guatemala altura 6000 (Guatemala and Dorrego) was the victim of a break-in and rape. The guy got into the building by scaling a tree and climbing up the balconies to her 3rd floor apartment, where he was able to slide open the balcony door.

(This is called an Hombre Arana or Spiderman break-in -- and it's not as uncommon as you think, my novio was at an asado a few weeks ago when they saw a guy climbing up the building across the street from them -- they started shouting for the police but the man climbed back down and then just strolled away casually from the building, probably to try again a few streets down...)

If you're living on the lower floors of a building, especially on the front side, and especially if there are trees about, do keep your balcony doors closed and locked. Also do make sure that the external door closes and locks whenever you enter and exit the building. And especially at this time of year when there are not as many people in the city, please think twice before walking home from the bar, restaurant, etc.

I used to walk by myself at night with not much thought to it, and the city is generally safe, but there are areas that are dead quiet. A few months ago another woman was assaulted by a taxi driver in the Palermo area, just coming out of Juan B Justo around Paraguay.

There's also a lot of barrios where you have to cross some rather dodgy areas in order to get from one place to another -- be aware and go home with a friend.

Examples to keep in mind: the train tracks where you have to cross from P Hollywood to Viejo (by Kika / Congo) are also not somewhere you want to be waiting for a cab at night, so if you are leaving one of those clubs you're better off heading towards Uriarte or Thames. Another spot is near where this apartment was, basically in the dead end of a street in Palermo, right near Carranza train station. This area crossing Cabildo is somewhat dodgy at night as there aren't a lot of people around, same with going down LM Campos before you actually get into Las Can.
The mapa de la inseguridad is a project of Francisco de Narváez, a rising star of the right in Argentine politics. I can think of a few motives, providing a useful resource for the public is not one of them.

Some highlights:
I really don't like that map.

Its scaremongering for political ends, masquerading as public service.
Yeah I'm not trying to scaremonger with this post, I'm just know that especially around this time of year there tend to be a lot of new arrivals, who (like I did) probably came from a pretty secure place and upon arrival feel that Palermo and Recoleta are free of any of the security issues they might hear about from other neighbourhoods.

Don't get too comfortable with the idea of walking home alone at night etc. We've all done it, but it's definitely not the brightest idea in the book. If you feel you must walk home then walk along the streets where there are going to be people (ie not Juan B Justo, it's a long stretch of nothing at night). If you've got to wait for a bus, try and find a stop that's brightly lit and where there are some other people about. And when you get home, especially if you are on the lower floors, do make sure that your windows and doors are locked. Pretty much every break-in I've heard of was the result of someone in the building leaving the front door unlocked or open.
Hi !!!
I'm a local guy, so I can give you a few tips or things I see on you people while walking on the streets, take into consideration that is my own opinion and point of view.
I was born here in Buenos Aires, I'm currently 34, lived in Villa del Parque till 6, and then moved to Lanus ( neighborhood of BA). So I know what is living in BA.
Syngirl is right, specially with the point of having windows and doors closed if you lived in the front. The city is generally safe, but if was safer before the 2002 crisis. Since then you can see all the "homeless" people around everywhere. There were practically no homeless before 2002 and the city was cleaner, much cleaner.

There are some points I'll add:
- You usually talk so loud. Everybody can hear you and realize that you're not local. That's ok for almost all the time except when you meet groups of homeless people.
- There are sometimes, that the way you dress, I mean the clothes you've brought here, are so different with the Argentinean style, people here are used to dress darker colours (I don´t like it).
- Try to avoid groups of children or boys. The one's you'll recognize as "homeless". Try not to make it so obvious...(that you're avoiding them)
- About the map: I think it'll be helpfull someday, but I agree with jp ( it's a masquerade). But you can take it onto consideration.

What I mean with safe, is that it would be of great bad luck to be attacked in the middle of the day by a thief. But you can find a thief on any corner, you never know. You just have to be a little "aware" of it, just pay attention to your environmet.

Since I was born I was assaulted (I don't know how it is said correctly: assaulted , robbed??) in the middle of the day only once, and it was in Lanus. And it was really bad luck. And another two times at night, but in bad places, neither of them in Buenos Aires....

Ditto on the above - I've had 3 friends mugged and robbed in the last few weeks and not late at night. Leave your expensive watches and jewelry at home and try not to speak in English if possible, especially if you are walking late at night.