Smile, Argentinean Thief, You’re on Candid Camera

By: Adam Dubove - @dubdam - Sep 18, 2014, 2:33 pm

EspañolThe crime rate in Argentina does not escape the unfortunate reality of Latin America. In fact, the 2013-2014 UN Regional Human Development Report indicates that Argentina’s per capita theft rate is the highest on the continent, close to 1,000 (973 exactly) annually per 100,000 people.

Alex Hennessy, a Canadian traveler, experienced first-hand the dangers of walking the streets of Buenos Aires — or cycling in a group, as was his case. Like other large cities, particular areas are more dangerous than in others, and Hennessy was attacked in the suburb of La Boca.

It just so happened that Hennessy’s GoPro camera, attached to his helmet, recorded the whole incident:

The video became popular on the social network Reddit, and Hennessy commented there on his experience:

I wasn’t hurt and the decision to run was pretty spontaneous. There were a whole bunch of factors that helped to me getting away [sic]. After about 20 seconds of him trying to get my backpack and not succeeding I had a travel buddy run up to my side and the guide at the back of the tour also came to my aid. The gunman would have had to shoot 3 people at that point which is what allowed me to get away.

Hennessy said that he forgot about the camera attached to his helmet, until the moment he started to run and took his helmet off to verify whether it had been recording.

On the video, we can see the victim saying “migo, migo, migo” repeatedly. Hennessy jokingly declared he was trying to say “amigo,” because “no one wants to shoot someone who calls you friend. The gun did definitely scare me but everything happened so fast that the adrenaline took over.”

The Canadian tourist is filming a series of videos entitled Global Degree, in which he depicts his experiences traveling throughout the Americas. Besides playing polo and enjoying a visit to Iguazú, Alex will return home with yet another memory recorded on his camera.

Though initially Hennessy affirmed that the thief was arrested, hours later the Argentinean Federal Police stated that no arrests were made, and that the victim hadn’t filed a complaint.

Translated by Pablo Schollaert.

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Adam Dubove is a journalist, co-host of The Titanic's Violinists radio show, and the secretary of the Amagi Institute. Follow him on Twitter: @dubdam, and read his blog: Diario de un Drapetómano.