Argentine Justice

Jan 4, 2011 by     No Comments    Posted under: Motorcycle adventures

Following the day of misadventure, got news at dinner that I didn’t have to worry about the bike: it had been stolen.  I was assured by Nacho and Raffael it would be sorted out, but I feared a drama. What I did get was one interesting experience.

Around 10 I was told I had to go back to juyjuy to fill out a police report and that Manuel would meet me. At midnight I was in an SUV with little suspension and even less brakes, tailgating a giant truck thru the same bends Raffael had flown up during the day. Of course no seat belts, but I did have the benefit of lively Argentinian mariachi music. Despite my fear of the night roads, the people were wonderful and jovially chatted with the police when they dropped me off.

Besidethe road there was much checking of licenses, bike registration, passports, and questions as to why I had identification from 3 different countries. The police were congenial, yet authoritative. It’s clear they have to deal with some serious crime here, yet they were very pleasant even in spite of what in retrospect was a pretty silly thing to have done.

I even got a ride in the police car to the station where they had taken the bike when found.  The police station was a very simple, 2 cinder block building, in an area known as “shantytown”, which was clearly highly undesirable.  The police worked in very basic conditions, with ancient computer equipment and guns worn through many hands.  But I’ve got to say it was extremely professionally handled, and I was treated as a naive victim, rather than as a suspicious criminal which had been my experience in places like the US.  In the end it was yet another, albeit late, worthwhile experience on the journey.  Special thanks to all the police officers involved, and our van driver and manuel for their help.  Finally got to bed at 3.15am.

Best line of the event from the lead officer: “Why would you leave something valuable in a country where everyday people will steal your underwear while you wear them?”.

Bed at 3.15

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