Its was a long weekend here in Argentina, because its Día de la Memoria por la Verdad y la Justicia (Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice) in honour of the many thousands of people who disappeared during military rule in the 70’s and 80’s. Ceri quipped that it’s odd that they chose the day the military came to power, not the day it ended.
On our walking tour on Sunday/domingo, we saw a stage set up in Plaza de Mayo for the event. So we decided to go back on Monday/lunes and join in.
As we got close, we could hear the crowds long before we emerged from the Catedral subte station. Drumming and whistles reverberated through the tunnels as we approached. It sounded like a massive street party.
I’m still not really sure what was going on. Various groups were marching towards the stage in Plaza de Mayo, each with their own drummers and each carried banners and wore T-shirts emblazoned with slogans that I didn’t understand. Some carried images of politicians; Eva & Juan Peron, and Nestor & Christina Kirchner most often, but also Che Guevara and, to my amazement, Hugo Chavez. There seemed to be a lot of “remembrance” going on, but not all of it for the disappeared.
There were people everywhere, and it was hard to know who was part of the march and who was just watching. At one point, as we tried to make our way through the crowd someone behind us started pushing their way forward, and we found ourselves in a tightly packed group.
Around this time, we decided we’d head back to the subte, but it was too late. My pockets had been emptied of cash: pesos in the left and US$ in the right all gone. Fortunately, we had taken advice not to carry much cash with us, and it was clearly a perfect situation for pick-pockets. No-one was hurt. Camera and credit card are resting and doing well. I just feel stupid. I think of the pushing against me as my Buenos Aires massage (or B.A.M)
Go to the next post: We didn’t hear a thing.
7 thoughts on “BAM”
It can happen so fast. We almost got taken on the Rome subway. A kid had his hand in my brother-in-laws back pocket. Fortunately, we were all wearing money belts. Sorry for the experience. –Curt
Thanks Curt – I thought I was being careful, by dividing my money and keeping it in my front pockets. Guess I need to have a new strategy.
Peggy always lectures me about my front pocket solution. I wasn’t doing it then but I usually do. If pickpockets ever get it out of my front pocket, I expect I’ll be hearing about it for years. 🙂 –Curt
When I lived in South America, I mostly had ONE credit card in one of my socks. Always carry a bit of cash “to give away” in case of a hold up. No money at all is not normal and dangerous. When you walk in a street, look into shopwindows and see in the reflection who is around (behind) you.
Best regards, Hugo
Thanks Hugo. Certainly being even more careful now.
Sorry to hear you got “bammed.” It happened to me a couple of years ago in the city of Córdoba, but I was really dumb — could’ve left my cash triple-locked in the hostel, but it was all in my backpack. I was such an easy mark… Now I keep only lip balm in that pocket, and in my 2 subsequent trips to Buenos Aires, no one has seemed interested in my lip balm.
Día de la Memoria was designed as a “Nunca más” day, but has increasingly turned into a holiday for every branch and twig of the Left to march. Not a bad idea, in my opinion, but many Argentines are pointing out that the Left is lining its pockets as the Right used to. As a USian, I don’t venture too many opinions, but it seems to me that nearly anything beats a state terror machine that smashed all trade unions and disappeared and killed some tens of thousands.