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Relocating & Living
K Topics
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Information I have compiled and saved
on vacationing, living and
relocating to Argentina.

K Topics

 

  • Kayaking in Tigre - a coastal delta city about 50 minutes north of Bs.As. by Train
  • From BANewComers Tracy August 19, 2005

Kayaking in Tigre:  an add came up in a google search the other day that showed very reasonable rates($15-$20 pesos) for a kayak excursion.  Cant vouch for them, but if anyone gives them a shot, I'd love to hear about it.  www.rlkayaks.com

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  • Kipnapping  Security Doc
  • From: WalcottH, May 16, 2007

I came across this message in my computer. I don't know how old it really is, but I think the advice is pretty timeless. - Walcott

usembassy

CONSULAR INFORMATION SHEETS

E-Mail:  BuenoAires-ACS@state.gov 

Pagina Web: http://usembassy.state.gov/baires_embassy  

SECURITY INFORMATION

EXPRESS KIDNAPPING - DON’T BE A VICTIM 

While kidnapping have been a fact of life for many   years in several Latin American cities, it is now becoming a problem in Argentina.    

According to official police statistics, by May 20 there had been ninety kidnappings within the greater Buenos Aires area in 2002.  Most incidents are "Express Kidnappings", where criminals select a victim at random and hold the victim hostage for several hours in return for a minimal ransom, often $5000 pesos or less. Other kidnappings have targeted wealthy residents of Argentina, and the ransoms demanded were the $100,000+ range.

In addition, kidnappings of children have also been perpetrated in the greater Buenos Aires area.  For example, five children were abducted from in front of an elementary school in the Palermo and were returned to the school a couple hours later after a ransom of $2000 pesos had been paid for each child.  The Argentine Police have recently established four new offices to tackle this increasing problem.

The best way to prevent being kidnapped is to prepare for the possibility.  The motives of kidnappers in Argentina have generally not been political, but motivated by greed.  However, regardless of the motive, the effect on the victim and the family are the same.  So don't tempt potential kidnappers by being an easy target.

AVOIDANCE

Don't be a creature of habit. To the extent possible, take different routes to and from work.  For instance, if your main route is Avenida Libertador, take different way to and from your residence to reach Libertador.  Don't leave and return home at the same time everyday.  Vary routine activities such as shopping, jogging, walking the dog, etc.  Do them at different times and places.  A few months ago, a wealthy Argentine businessman was kidnapped by a criminal gang while driving out of his golf course parking lot, after a regular weekly card game.  His mistake: he departed the golf course at the same time and on the same day each week.  Therefore, he was predictable and hence an easy target for the criminal gang who watched his habits prior to the abduction.  After several days as a hostage, the businessman was released after a ransom of $US60,000 had been paid. 

Be suspicious.  Get to know your neighborhood and the routines of your neighbors so that you notice anything or anyone out of place.  Look for cars or loiterers that don't belong and report them to the police.  Get a good look and a complete description, to include license plate numbers.  Plus, even if the criminals observe you looking at them, that alone may discourage further interest in you as a potential victim.

Warn your children not to answer personal questions over the telephone and not to speak to any strangers on the street.  Older children should be instructed to carefully note the description of any strangers and to remember any license plate number, make, color and model of any car near your home or near their school.  Recently, one kidnapping of a child occurred at Northlands School and there have been three attempted kidnappings in the vicinity of the United Community Church in Acassuso.  In these latter incidents, criminals attempted to abduct children who were walking on the street either alone or with a maid. In the abductions in Palermo, the details are not yet known, but it appears that five children were abducted from the sidewalk in front of the school and returned after the school's payment of a 10,000 peso ransom. 

Children must never travel alone and should always be accompanied by a parent or maid.  If your maid is picking up your children from school, ensure she is aware of the kidnapping threat and the need to remain alert.  And tell your children never to allow a stranger to pick them up from school.  And should a third-party need to pick up your child, advise the school of the person's name, etc. beforehand.

While in supermarkets keep your children in close proximity to you and never send them on unaccompanied errands for bread or milk in order to save time.

Children should travel by car or remise, rather than walk on the street, to the extent feasible.  If walking, they should always stick to well-lighted and well-traveled main routes, rather than using short-cuts or dark streets.

PREVENTIVE TIPS WHILE DRIVING

While driving - remain alert.  Keep the doors locked and windows closed, especially in traffic and at red lights.  When coming to a stop, leave enough room between you and the car in front. A good rule of thumb: You should always be able to see the rear tires of the vehicle in front of you.  This will allow you to maneuver around the vehicle if necessary.

Scan parking lots before approaching your car.  Try to walk with other people, or ask your portero or security guard for an escort.

Have your key ready in your hand as you approach your vehicle.  Look inside the car and around the outside before getting in. Caution:  On many cars, all doors will unlock when the driver’s door is unlocked - a dangerous feature - if someone is hiding outside the passenger door.  If you sense danger, retreat to a place of safety and summon help.  Do not confront a thief.

OTHER RUSES USED BY CRIMINALS 

Common attack plans are:

Bump and Rob - The attacker bumps the victim’s vehicle from behind.  The victim gets out to assess the damage and exchange information.  The victim’s vehicle is taken.

Good Samaritan - The attacker(s) stage what appears to be an accident.  They may simulate an injury.  The victim stops to assist, and the vehicle is taken.

The Ruse - The vehicle behind the victim flashes its lights or the driver waves to get the victim’s attention.  The attacker tries to indicate that there is a problem with the victim’s car.  The victim pulls over and the vehicle is taken.

The Trap - Carjackers use surveillance to follow the victim home.  When the victim pulls into his or her driveway waiting for the gate to open, the attacker pulls up behind and blocks the victim’s car.

OTHER SECURITY RECOMMENDATIONS:

Carry a cell phone so you can immediately alert someone in the event of an emergency.

While driving, if you are bumped from behind or if someone tries to alert you to a problem with your vehicle pull over only when you reach a safe public place.

When traveling home, you can telephone your maid or a family member when you’re a few blocks away and request that they open the driveway gate just prior to your arrival.  Then the gate will be open and you can enter your driveway without delay.

Don’t stop to assist in an accident, unless you’re sure it’s not a ruse.

CONCLUSION

Avoidance is the best way to prevent becoming a victim.  Check regularly for possible surveillance, since observance often precedes any sort of attack.  Detecting surveillance requires alertness and therefore must become an unconscious habit.  We do not want to encourage paranoia, but a good sense of what is normal and what is unusual in your surroundings could be more important than any other type of security precaution you take.

While there are no guarantees that these few precautions, even if diligently adhered to, will protect you and your family from a kidnapping attempt, they will undoubtedly reduce your vulnerability, and therefore, reduce your chances of being selected as a victim.

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  • Koreatown
  • From: Benjamin J. Schwartz, September 03, 2006

We find all the instant ramen we can eat in Belgrano.  I can't remember NOT   seeing it in the Chinese markets.  Cup Ramen, or in packets, you want it,  you got it in Barrio Chino.  And on another note, if you haven't been to  Koreatown in Flores around Carabobo, then you don't know what you are  missing.  This is probably my favourite 'ethnic' neighbourhood in the city.   There isn't a tourist to be found, and the prices are low: 25 pesos for an  enormous set Korean lunch in any restaurant you visit.  It comes with  bulgogi, sam gyap sal, noodles, rice, chijimi, fish, and all the side dishes  and kimchee you can eat.  The price used to be 20 pesos, but the restaurants  all got together and decided to raise it to 25, and fair enough, it's worth  every centavo.  Incidentally, all the cup ramen you can want is available  there too, as well as rice and noodles, kimchee, daikon and a number of  other Far Eastern food items.

Carabobo, and Koreatown in general, are located near Estacion Medalla Milagrosa on the E Subway Line.  Keep in mind the good restaurants are not limited to Carabobo.  Be sure to check out the side streets, and main streets like Pumacahua, Thorne and Curapaligue.

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