Buenos Aires Crime

Buenos Aires CrimeCrime in Buenos Aires Argentina is way down and compared to US cities, crime is extremely low. However, there does seem to be a recent increase in crime here lately as well as homeless people.

The most important thing you should know about Buenos Aires crime is that it is almost always nonviolent and involves purse snatching, pick pocketing, and petty theft. And when it does happen, and people witness it, the police are excellent at chasing down the thief. I have witnessed this more than once.

The second most important thing to know is that the most vicious crimes in the past have been kidnappings. A tradition that started in the 50’s dues to civil unrest and continued up until 2004. The government itself took part in this calling it the “dirty war “and are still facing humanitarian crimes today.

There are still wealthy people who are kidnapped and held for ransom and sometimes they are even taken hostage in their home however this is rare and is not reported much at all compared to several years ago. And in the not so distant past, even important corpses from the cemetery were kidnapped and held for ransom. Evita being one of them.

But as a tourist, the chances of this happening to you are slim to none. You will mostly want to concern yourself with the pickpocketer. And also, never take candy or any food or drink from people you have just met. I have heard more than one story about strangers befriending a tourist on a bus or a journey and giving them a date rape drug in some form, and then the “new friend” took off with everything they had on them.

It happenes. But, what is traveling without a little adventure? For me, living here has been much safer than any city I lived in the US. Violent crime is extremely rare. But Argentina is not Disneyland and you should always use some street smarts.

Homeless people

But I have noticed a trend here in the last few years. More and more homeless people. And it’s cold now too. The statistics about this are often outdated and wrong but what matters most is the day to day. And lately, homeless are becoming more a part of the landscape. They are treated well by others in general, and the police almost never bother them at all. Most of them are in transition but of course some of them are chronic.

Either way, they exist and remind us all of why we do some of the things we don’t want to do in life. Like work everyday and pay rent. Overall, for a city the size of Buenos Aires, crime is very low and homeless people are well behaved.


About the author of this blog.

Tom Wick is an American expat living in Buenos Aires. An expert travel consultant and tour guide offering free travel inforamtion and private guided tours of Buenos Aires.

Contact Me

Please write to me about any Buenos Aires Argentina travel information or about living in Buenos Aires as an expat. tangohistorytours@gmail.com

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August 2006
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