Police harassment in BA?

steveinbsas

Registered
A new arrival recently asked me about harassment by BA police.

In three years I have never been asked for an ID or bothered in any way.

I don't remember any posts about it, either.

Has anyone reading this had any kind of problem?
 

Moxon

Registered
Not me, CF is probably the least likely place in Argentina for this to happen to foreigners, but who knows what Macri's new wallopers will be like.
 

steveinbsas

Registered
Lee said:
Well, I our 2 years here I have never been stopped and asked for my ID but my boyfriend has 4 times. Granted I look like a gringo (I am) and he is Puerto Rican so maybe that has something to do with it...oh, and he does tend to have rather non conventional hair cuts...
What happened (if you are inclined to say)? My friend (the one who asked) is from San Francisco, mixed race (euro-asian), and obviously not Argentinian, though he actually portrayed native Americans in several films and mini-series (Centenial, Rolling Thunder, etc.).
 

sergio

Registered
Why would the police harass you? In many years here I've never heard of an expat or a tourist being bothered by the police, at least not a pedestrian. I have heard of police bothering foreign motorists, though.
 

steveinbsas

Registered
sergio said:
Why would the police harass you? In many years here I've never heard of an expat or a tourist being bothered by the police, at least not a pedestrian. I have heard of police bothering foreign motorists, though.

My friend has been studying "recent" Argentine history.

While I agree with you that the police in the street do not bother tourists, my friend and I recently visited the "memorial" at the Facultad de Medicina. There is a new memorial there commerating the fact that hundreds of doctors, nurses, and med students lost their lives for stating their views in opposition to the government during the Dirty War.

Even in San Francisco, this is not something my friend is familiar with.
 

Napoleon

Registered
Last winter I was "pulled over" walking in Palermo Soho/Plaza Italia. (~Paraguay approaching Thames maybe) I was texting and looking down. It was ~3am, I was cutting along Paraguay rather than heading to or from Santa Fe and it was cold. Because it was cold I had my collar UP and a "beanie" (wool cap) on my head. Apparently this is too suspicious to ignore.

I was stopped by a policeman who crossed the street to approach me and he was slowly followed by his partner. Like I always do when dealing with police here, I immediately broke into English and only later stammered through a bit of Spanish. (Same thing as when I'm trying to jump to the front of a line at a Boliche... because it usually works.)

This guy was all "tranquilo", but he wanted to see my "documentos". I showed him my drivers license from the States. Then he wanted me to empty my pockets. THIS is when I thought "This fucking guy is going to rob me." I had some cash and I had a small digital camera on me that night. I was sure he was going to try to take something.

But after talking for a while, taking everything out of my pockets and explaining that I was walking to Borges to walk down to Santa Fe because it was a well lit street, he let me go.

This wasn't the first time I've been questioned by the cops in my life. In LA I was pulled over because "I was the only white person around here." (Apparently you're not supposed to be white and drop off a friend who lives near the Great Western Forum in Inglewood.)

PS- A cop tried to stop me as I was walking across that field from the buses to the Bombonera on opening day back in September. My friend was with his son and half-brother (that could practically be his son) and I was walking off to the side trying to take a picture of the three of them. They're porteños and I'm obviously not.

The cop tried to stop me, but then my friend stepped in and told the cop NO, he's not going to show you his papers, we're going to the game, and we kept on walking. My friend doesn't speak any English, so sometimes things are lost in translation, but I think that he was saying the cop was going to probably want some money to let us keep walking.
 

Lucas

Registered
Napoleon said:
Last winter I was "pulled over" walking in Palermo Soho/Plaza Italia. (~Paraguay approaching Thames maybe) I was texting and looking down. It was ~3am, I was cutting along Paraguay rather than heading to or from Santa Fe and it was cold. Because it was cold I had my collar UP and a "beanie" (wool cap) on my head. Apparently this is too suspicious to ignore.

I was stopped by a policeman who crossed the street to approach me and he was slowly followed by his partner.

This guy was all "tranquilo", but he wanted to see my "documentos". I showed him my drivers license from the States. Then he wanted me to empty my pockets. THIS is when I thought "This fucking guy is going to rob me." I had some cash and I had a small digital camera on me that night. I was sure he was going to try to take something.

But after talking for a while, taking everything out of my pockets and explaining that I was walking to Borges to walk down to Santa Fe because it was a well lit street, he let me go.
Sure that is normal to empty your pockets to see if you are carrying some weapon, knife, screwdriver to break in, etc. also to check having any drugs on you, besides covering your head with a "beanie" (preferred disguise used by criminals) at 3:00am and suspecting that a "chorro" is on the prowl is understandable why they stopped you, next time when you are approaching any cop at that time of the night uncover yourself, remember there is a lot of criminal hype on the media lately so they were just doing they job checking you.
 

Napoleon

Registered
Lucas said:
next time when you are approaching any cop at that time of the night uncover yourself, remember there is a lot of criminal hype on the media lately so they were just doing they job checking you.
I'm not saying I didn't look suspicious, I'm just saying what happened. And I wasn't approaching a cop. I was walking along a sidewalk texting the girl that I had just shared a taxi with. (We took one from a party to her place and then I was taking mass transit the rest of the way.) The cop saw me and crossed the street to approach me.

I understand this part. That being said, I didn't know whether or not the cop was going to rob me. And when I immediately started speaking English and provided ID from the 1st World, I thought that I would soon be on my way. I even had on a fairly nice jacket. Other than being cold and wearing a beanie, I didn't fit any kind of profile. Pero bueno. I was just adding my story.

And when he dismissed me, he told me exactly where to find the bus stop I would be looking for on Santa Fe. Nice guy, but I just didn't know if I was going to get robbed by him or not. I've never had those suspicions in the States. (Or Central, Northern, & Western Europe, Israel, or Brazil.)
 

Lucas

Registered
Napoleon said:
I'm not saying I didn't look suspicious, I'm just saying what happened. And I wasn't approaching a cop. I was walking along a sidewalk texting the girl that I had just shared a taxi with. (We took one from a party to her place and then I was taking mass transit the rest of the way.) The cop saw me and crossed the street to approach me.
The police force is under the microscope and they are having tremendous pressure from the media and civil groups to try curb down petty and violent crime in the city so it will be not unusual this type of behavior from them in the present and the immediate future, a couple of days ago the ex-president did make a comment on this problem and the involved media, not to raise population fears and expectations by making it bigger to what it seems there is a constant bombardment of this type of news on the radio, TV and newspapers right now and for some time and mostly is political motivated so police are under pressure to avoid and prevent in advance any potential crimes on the streets, I know its not very pleasant to be checked by the police when you major crime was to just walk happily on the streets, but on the other hand it is better for everyone else who are doing just that having the police check any suspicious individuals on the streets I will certainly not complain.

I've never had those suspicions in the States. (Or Central, Northern, & Western Europe, Israel, or Brazil.)
I just wonder if you were walking on a solitary street with a beanie over your head on those countries at 3:00am and crossing your path with a couple of cops what they reaction will be...remember circumstances here are very special at the moment and everyone have to put up with it, it's better to be safe than sorry.
 
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