Safety in Buenos Aires
Today's question comes from an e-mail I received earlier this month. I just got another similar question this week, so I felt it was time to visit this topic.
I've read through your posts and i didn't see much talk of safety. A lot of people have called buenos aires unsafe for foreigners, how much truth is there in that statement? would you say it's just like any other city or is a short blonde guy from Canada going to be putting himself in some danger?
Crime in Buenos Aires
I can say with some degree of confidence that petty crime is a problem here in Buenos Aires. Most people I know who've lived here have been robbed at least once in their lifetime. Last year my office manager was robbed twice in the same year. I know of one other expat who was robbed here this year as well.
Other than robbery, however, I haven't heard of any violent crimes happening to anyone I know. Buenos Aires is a big city and so big city rules apply here:
- Don't walk around the streets drunk at night
- Don't walk around with lots of flashy jewelry
- Stay on crowded avenues at night
- Be aware of your surroundings
I can tell you for sure that things are different here than in Canada. I don't know if its true or not, but I remember that scene in Bowling For Columbine where Michael Moore went to Canada and everyone had their doors unlocked. If that's how things really are up in Canada, I can assure you that things are different here. There is much more of a security culture here. Most buildings have security doors and most doors have dead-bolts for added security.
The town I'm from was a lot smaller than Buenos Aires, so it took a little getting used to for me. Perhaps the biggest thing you need to watch out for is that neighborhoods can go from good to bad very quickly. You can be in a good section of town, walk 20 blocks in a certain direction, and then all of a sudden you realize you're in a place you don't want to be. You probably don't want to go "exploring" here without knowing which neighborhoods are safe and which ones aren't.