Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A for Anarchy… and Argentina.

It was pretty enlightening to hear Francisco de Narváez today on TV.
Talking about the huge crime problem we have in Argentina some of the things he said made me feel less paranoid, while others made me feel a bit naïve.
First, only ¼ of the actual crimes get reported. We’re talking about home invasions robberies, etc. Serious stuff that would land you in jail but here, getting mugged at gunpoint doesn’t deserve the waste of time of going to the police station. Home invasion or a brake in? No one takes prints. That’s stuff seen on cable TV.
Think good old FerFAL is BSing you? Stay with me for a second longer.
You see, this is what my gut instinct has been telling me for many years now, and what I’ve transmitted to you, my faithful reader: The feeling, the sensation that here, we have to fend for ourselves.

Why do I have this sensation?
Well, because as De Narvaez explained today, out or 4000 crimes that get reported (remember, only ¼ only get reported at all) only 7, that’s right just 7 out of 4000 crimes get resolved at all, with the criminal ending up behind bars.
In case you don’t have your calculator near by, that means that 99.825% of the crimes committed go unpunished. Its VERY easy to become a bandido in Argentina. You have to be drop dead stupid to end up behind bars… or innocent.

Makes sense. Usually, when I mention some of the terrible crimes committed in my country, there’s rarely ever a follow up news with the criminals getting caught. Even worse, sometimes they just put in jail some guys with a criminal history they just manage to get their hands on, but eventually get released or even worse, get convicted for something they didn’t do. This happens often enough, we have a term for this, the infamous “perejil” , the guy that has no funds, no friends and happened to be on the wrong place at the wrong time, cops put the blame on him and throw him in a cell. There we go community, we caught the bad guy! People relax, maybe a couple years later the guy gets released, but hey they got the angry crowd off their backs back then.

Lets cover all this wonderful stuff with hot chocolate syrup, ok?:
Only 7% of the Argentine border is monitored by radar. For the other 93% planes full of drugs or guns can fly back and fourth as the want.
Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, all neighboring countries, they have 100% of their borders covered. But once they get to our side, nothing. No one cares, no one is controlling. For this reason Argentina is now one of the largest producers and distributors of drugs of all kinds in Latin America.

So yes my friends, I’m not nuts and Argentina is as messed up as I’ve always said.
In spite of all this we keep going.

As I got home tonight, 9 PM, I watched the city: People rushing home, scared, looking all around them. Cars speeding, ignoring traffic signs. The few pharmacies left opened, doing business through closed barred doors.
Yesterday there was a big car accident in front of my home. I called 911 (yes, here too) I was put on hold. Got tired of waiting and hanged up. An ambulance drove by but was heading somewhere else. Both cars were totaled but the passengers where ok, one of the cars ended up crashing against a house, throwing down a sign and tree.
This happens often because as I said before, when it gets dark people just ignore traffic lights because of the robberies.
That’s how we live her my friends, take care and good luck.



Bones said...

Dude, I just said a quiet little prayer for you, your family and your country.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is unbelievable. I formerly lived in a European country where only 20% of the crimes had any kind of arrest- let alone a conviction. And that was like a Mad Max free-for-all.

I can't even imagine what it must be like when you get down to only 7% of the crimes being followed up.

Just based on that statistic, I would encourage everyone to take Ferfal very seriously. I think I only had a taste of what he is talking about and it was bad, bad, bad.

PRCalDude said...



Why should a citizen of such a country respect that country's gun control laws? If the state clearly has no interest in controlling crime or allowing you to defend yourself, why should you respect its laws in that regard?

As you mentioned in your book, there is not complete gun control in your country, but there is in Brazil and it has its own out-of-control crime. Aren't we morally obligated to own guns to defend ourselves from criminals during anarchy?

Molon labe, I say.

Anonymous said...

After reading some of what the police do up here, many people may be better off with such police inaction as you have. People have to be responsible for themselves, not relying on nanny-state help, which is often not really a help.

With many nations legalizing drugs or decriminalizing their possession such as in Mexico or the Netherlands (?) I have read there's been a decrease in crime as was the case with Prohibition in the U.S. in the 1930's. That is, beer truck drivers don't have shoot-outs in the streets today fighting over territory as their equivalents did in the 1930's.

For the U.S. things are often not so different, especially your story of the innocent guy jailed to get the heat off the cops back:


Merlin Moncure said...

How many people are aware of the situation and are trying to change it? Are there militia type groups in Argentina?

FerFAL said...

Aware we all are. Most people just preffer not to tihnk about it much though.
No militia type people here, anything armed or military related has been heavily stigmatized for the last 30 years because of the previosu military dictatorship. Guess that's one of our greatest problems. Whenever somoene even suggests a heavy handed solution of some sort, fools start crying that the "dictadura" is around the corner which is nonesense of course. We have no military left. Its been sistematically destoyed.


recon said...

anonymous 7:59, it is only 0.175% of reported crimes.

PRCalDude, moral or otherwise, you don't want to be caught by law enforcement with illegal firearms. I think location would dictate the answer.. in Britain I would have a knife, although those are illegal too. But probably not a gun. In America I would stay away from automatic submachine guns, but a handgun and a trained user can still be effective.

In Argentina, however, I might just have some really big guns.

mikej said...

Is Argentina really that much worse than the U.S.? Cops don't show much concern about property crimes here. When I was a teenager, we had a burglary, and the cops didn't bother to take fingerprints even though the burglar had plainly left some. A distant cousin who was a detective sergeant told me that the cops approached a burglary-in-progress call with lights and sirens so as to avoid confronting the burglar. On those rare occasions when they did catch a burglar, they'd cut a deal whereby he'd cop to all the open burglaries on their books and get off with a slap on the wrist. Did I mention that all this was thirty years ago in Miami?

Recently, here in Houston, a friend's mother had a burglary. The cops didn't even send an officer out. They just took a list of what was stolen over the phone. How much time, do you suppose, did they spend investigating that burglary?

Thanks to our wonderful diversity, certain neighborhoods in any large American city are no-go zones for white folk. It's not a good idea to stop at a traffic light after dark in those areas. In the years when I commuted across town, I'd stop for gas and have people trying to sell me gold chains, or just outright panhandling. I passed my own concealed carry law long before the Texas Legislature did.

We have actual home invasions (of occupied homes) in Houston, and we've had people in ritzy River Oaks robbed of their Rolex watches in their driveways. Armed robberies of stores are so common that convenience stores are often called Stop'N'Robs.

So I have to wonder, is crime really all that bad in Argentina, or did y'all just perceive the rise in Argentine crime rates to U.S. levels as a catastrophe?

Anonymous said...


I was in Argentina visiting a friend up north in Salta for two weeks. On my way back to BA, I stayed a couple of days and toured the city. In the evening I did not notice such sense of urgency or fear that you mention in your comments. I understand there must be crime and it must happen frequently but I never felt unsafe. The restaurants were full of people enjoying themselves and it appeared like most other latin american countries. I may not have been in a bad area -Recoletta but when I drove around the center of the city with a taxi I still saw many people and no strange behaviour or great fear as your commentary suggests.

So is it possible that crime is in BA just like all other big cities and it's mostly in low income, poor neighborhoods, where you find drug dealers and low life?


FerFAL said...

Hi Alan, to notice what I mention you dont have to be in a bad area, you just have to be out of the most expensive, most guarder areas such as Recoleta which is the most expensive one in the down town area.
Its like saying "hey, there's no economic problem in USA! I went to 5th Av. in New York and everything was ok, then I went visit the Statue of Liberty, bought gifts too and had a great time"
"Then we traveled to Disney World in Orlando. Mickey and Minnie looked havy and they house wasn't looted".
all joking asside, see whay I mean?
Still, everyone that comes to Argentina has no other way to get here but through Ezeiza international airport. If you didn't notice the villas and shanty towns near by you probably were a bit distracted and had other things in mind. Just saying because they are there and are pretty obvious. Salta is also beautiful but very poor as well. Sure its not your friend's case, but it is one of the poorest provinces in spite of the very nice city they have. Most people just dont live there, but its what tourist see the most.

"So is it possible that crime is in BA just like all other big cities and it's mostly in low income, poor neighborhoods, where you find drug dealers and low life?"

Our problem is much greater than that. Not sure when you visited, but I was filming this week for the GTA course, some of the protests and roadblocks in the capital district, you just cant avoid noticing wahts going on unless your blind... and deaf (the constant banging of the durms by protestors and firecrackers is impossible to miss)
The problem isn't hat we have a few bad areas. The problem is that, other than a few heavily policed ares, the rest of the country is no man's land. No, you wont see Mel Gibsson in his Mad Max costume, what I mean by no man's land is that people still work and do their business, but crimes are committed during day and night without punishment or preventive measures being enforced efectively.


Anonymous said...

The US Govt will bring in Mercenaries from Africa, Asia and the Subcontinent to quickly slam dunk any kind of insurrection. They won't get them from Latin America for fear they might side with US latinos while an Ugandan would quickly gun down a black looter. They are being trained right now. This whole concept was used by the Romans, Soviets, and Brits. Gruesome staged violent acts to turn one ethnic group against each other like the Indo/Pak division. If Cisco, and MicroS0ft aided the People's Liberation Army in tracking people's political internet usage, it was just a dressed rehersal for what will happen in N. America. All the Global Elite wanted from Argentina was their food and to payback for not following through with the desires of the league of nations. They have far worse pland for the US.

Anonymous said...

The USA will be easy pickings. Students just laid down and let crazed gunman pick them off one by one in a number of school shootings. Nobody tried to jab a pencil in their eyes or surprise him/them. Only in big cities do people take security seriously. Henry Kissinger in Bern Switzerland spoke of how Los Angelans will be so thankful of the UN troops when they stop the looters. Argentina did not happen by accident in 12/01. In TV terms, 9/11 was the superbowl and the Argentine meltdown was like a Black & White rerun on the latino channel that nobody noticed in the US.