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  #1  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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Just had a gun pointed in my face.

Hey guys, I am in Curuzu Cuatia, Argentina now. Today I was driving North on Ruta 14 (crossed from Uruguay at Salto and started North on Ruta 14 at Concordia. At km marker number 343 (on the East side of Ruta 14) a police officer flagged me to pull over. I pulled over and he asked me if I had my fire extinguisher. At first I did not understand so he took me into the little station there (very distinctive looking, building is new within 10 years, and it looks like a tower) where he showed me a small fire extinguisher in the back of his car and than showed me a form in his office which said all motorcyclists were required to have it.

He than wrote my ticket on a suspicious (hand typed looking) ticket which did not say how much the fine was. He asked me how I was going to pay for the ticket and I told him the usual that I had no money and needed to stop at a bank. He than asked me if I had credit cards? (Since when do the police take credit?)

After 20 minutes of saying I had no money he kept threatening by making handcuff gestures. I asked how much the fine was because it did not say on the paper. He wrote it in 1100 pesos! Any doubt that was left in my mind just left. He did the handcuff thing again and I held out my hands and asked for my phone call.

He knew that I had called his bluff and he suspiciously handed back driving papers and told me to leave. He had taken my passport earlier and was refusing to give it back and said I did not get to keep my information in jail. I snuck it back in my pocket when he left the room.

I walked back to my bike which was 20 m away and grabbed my pen to write the license plate number down of the car that was parked in the station ¨FVK364.¨ The officer came out and asked me what I was doing and told me to come back into the station. He told me to go into the bathroom and wipe my hand off. He followed me into the tiny bathroom and put his hand on his gun and closed the door. He took his gun out and pointed towards my face and than told me ¨cuidate¨ and ¨better you forget about this (I think).¨

Sorry for the ramble of words here. I wanted to write all of this down here because I am going to the police station in Curuzu Cuatia and filing a report.

important details:
officer is 5´9
30-35 years I would guess
a little on the stout side
black hair
wears weapon on the right
The license plate of the police car in the small toower type building is (FVK364)
The station is at km number 343 (on the East side of the road)
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  #2  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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I wouldn't do anything; they won't take you seriously, or will harass you, unless you know the protocol (i.e. federal officers vs. local officers, etc.) If this was me and happened close by in Mexico, I know I would have to chalk it up to experience, simply because I don't know the protocol, the language, or who to trust, for that matter.

It's easy for me to say, considering it didn't happen to me, but as a third party "observer" I would just get out of there as quickly as possible (and safely as possible)
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  #3  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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Report it to your embassy they wont do anything about it but it helps to get word out. You can try to Email to there federal police filing reports with them and local cops in there state capitol If anything it will get the cop intruble for not giving them kick backs. Then get out of the area and dont go back.

You allwas seem to get in to something gatogato. hehe

Last edited by DLbiten; 20 Apr 2008 at 16:13.
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  #4  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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Geez, crappy thing to have happen. Take a deep breath, email your embassy, treat yourself to a nice meal, find some fellow gringo's and regroup. Go slow. Don't proceed on the road until the icky feelings have passed.

I'm not good in cities, I find them VERY stressful, and I've discovered my first day out, I shouldn't go very far. Whenever I move out too fast, something bad happens. And then I'm on a bad roll.
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  #5  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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GatoGato, maybe you can change your title to add Argentina. There are a few Argentinians on this board, theirs is the advise you need. I had a problem in Mexico and called the Embassy, their response was that they couldn't interfere with any affairs concerning the police, but they could file a report. Yah, that will take care of the problem! Sounds like you did good and your okay, just obviously shaken up. Maybe Javkap can comment on this situation? I'm glad you didn't give the extortionist bastard any money!! Pat yourself on the shoulder and go buy a lottery ticket.
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  #6  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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Whoa, Major Pendejo!

Good for you filing a report. Man I hate crooked cops. I´m getting adrenalized just reading the story. Pity, Argentina is such a great country.

I got the handcuff routine North of Lima but prevailed in the end. Got the pistol in the face in Kazakhstan. Usually takes a couple days to calm down after something like that.

Currently in Bs As and heading North once I get my Brazilian Visa.
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  #7  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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I guess we will now find out if he was serious about his threat to shoot you if you tell anyone.
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  #8  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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Hey guys, thank you for the kind words. I was kind of shaken up a little bit yesterday but that is it. I knew he was not going to shoot me during the situation but did my best to act damn scared.

I did not report the situation last night and waited until the morning to ask an english speaker of my new motorcyclist friend here. The guy told me that it was best not to report it here because it is a different province. He said that I should report it tomorrow to the Federal Police in Posada.

It kind of ticks me off that there is not a better system for reporting something like this, but I guess it would be the same situation if it happened in N.A.
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  #9  
Old 21 Apr 2008
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You will get good and bad guys in all walks of life. It took me a long time to learn this. In my youth I assumed All the cops to be upright citizens as we had a mutual respect for our local bobbies. Then 30 miles from home I was done for speeding when I wasn't. The cop not only lied about the speed, but fabricated the entire event. At that time I simply could not believe a cop would lie in order to get a bogus speeding conviction. Since then (winter of 1963) I have lumped all UK cops together and not only do I not trust them I dont like them around,, view them the same way i would as a gang of drunken hoodie wearing youths. do not like either around me at all. Gradually I am beginning to trust the French ones.. but no doubt there are good and bad ones here too.
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  #10  
Old 21 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatogato View Post

It kind of ticks me off that there is not a better system for reporting something like this, but I guess it would be the same situation if it happened in N.A.
That is why it happened--there is not a better system to report it! However, and not to say that NA is so great, but there are more checks and balances, at least in the US (i.e. FBI, greedy lawyers, state police vs. local police and vice versa depending on which police did you wrong, sheriff's department, etc)
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  #11  
Old 22 Apr 2008
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Hey GatoGato-

That totally sucks, and it must have been scary. I know how you feel. I had corrupt cops in Peru stop me and demand $200. Five times!

I'm very impressed with your travels. I'm in BA for a few days. If you want to meet up, let me know, and I'll buy the . Dinner too.
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  #12  
Old 23 Apr 2008
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This just may be a wild ass guess but it seems to me after reading numerous posts at various websites that many of the riders who get nailed by a corrupt cop were riding a high profile bike like a BMW GS for example. No offense intended, just an observation on my part that may or may not be based on fact. I'd love to have another BMW, but really do not want any attention drawn to me from a crooked cop. BMWs are like a candle to a moth when it comes to cops south of the border.

I ride an old beat up bike that looks like crap but gets me anywhere I want to go. Yes it takes me longer, but then that's not such a bad thing. More time to savor the flavor along the way. So far, (cross my fingers), I've not rolled across any cops who have asked for a mordita.
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  #13  
Old 23 Apr 2008
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Argentine motorcycle/fire extinguisher Law with translation

Ley Nacional de Transito #24.449

Art.40 Requisitos para circular, INS: F

"Oue posea matafuegos y balizas porttatiles normalizados, "EXCEPTO LAS MOTOCICLETAS"

TRANSLATION:

National Traffic Law #24,449

Art 40 Requirements to drive, INS F

That has fire extinguisher and triangles markers (reflectors), "EXCEPT MOTORCYCLES"
_________________________________________________

And, "Art 3 - Garantia de Libertad de transito.

Art 3 - Guaranty of Free Transit...

TRANSLATION: "Free Transit guaranty/ It's forbidden the retention or detention or the driver, his documents, and/or his license for any reason, except the situation speecificallh contemplated in this law or ordered by a Judge in charge."

Sorry I did not post this immediately, I have been touring. Above is the current law regarding fire extinguishers and safety triangles for motorcycles in Argentina. Some provinces do require automobiles to carry a blanket (to cover the dead resulting from an accident) but I could not find this law, and most of us travel with towels or sleeping bags that would qualify as a blanket.

The ART 3 insures, by law, no retention or detention of a driver/rider without the violation of a specific law.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hope this helps. Gatogato, once again you made it through. In Argentina when an officer draws his/her weapon, the incident, by policy, is to be reported by the officer to his/her superior. this is serious, very serious and you are very skilled and lucky to have "walked." I would report this to the Argentine Automobile Club. ACA office you first encounter. ACA is a powerful political force and has been known to help clean up ruta 14 in the past by actually passing on reports from tourists to the highest levels of Argentine government. (ACA offices throughout Argentina) Get locations from ACA (yellow gas stations)

Please post results of your reports to authorities regarding this incident and make a copy of the law above. xfiltrate
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  #14  
Old 24 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xfiltrate View Post
Ley Nacional de Transito #24.449

Art.40 Requisitos para circular, INS: F

"Oue posea matafuegos y balizas porttatiles normalizados, "EXCEPTO LAS MOTOCICLETAS"

TRANSLATION:

National Traffic Law #24,449

Art 40 Requirements to drive, INS F

That has fire extinguisher and triangles markers (reflectors), "EXCEPT MOTORCYCLES"
_________________________________________________

And, "Art 3 - Garantia de Libertad de transito.

Art 3 - Guaranty of Free Transit...

TRANSLATION: "Free Transit guaranty/ It's forbidden the retention or detention or the driver, his documents, and/or his license for any reason, except the situation speecificallh contemplated in this law or ordered by a Judge in charge."

Sorry I did not post this immediately, I have been touring. Above is the current law regarding fire extinguishers and safety triangles for motorcycles in Argentina. Some provinces do require automobiles to carry a blanket (to cover the dead resulting from an accident) but I could not find this law, and most of us travel with towels or sleeping bags that would qualify as a blanket.

The ART 3 insures, by law, no retention or detention of a driver/rider without the violation of a specific law.

Please post results of your reports to authorities regarding this incident and make a copy of the law above. xfiltrate

Ed the translation similarities to the one we posted in 2005 are amazing!
You can say we are on the same wave but….

What a coincident! Woww!!!!!

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...rgentina-13295


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  #15  
Old 24 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pancho View Post
This just may be a wild ass guess but it seems to me after reading numerous posts at various websites that many of the riders who get nailed by a corrupt cop were riding a high profile bike like a BMW GS for example. No offense intended, just an observation on my part that may or may not be based on fact. I'd love to have another BMW, but really do not want any attention drawn to me from a crooked cop. BMWs are like a candle to a moth when it comes to cops south of the border.

I ride an old beat up bike that looks like crap but gets me anywhere I want to go. Yes it takes me longer, but then that's not such a bad thing. More time to savor the flavor along the way. So far, (cross my fingers), I've not rolled across any cops who have asked for a mordita.
I think you are on the right track. When I had my bike duck taped I was never stopped by the police, but now (in Argentina at least) it seems like they always want to stop me and check my papers.

BTW: Do not ask Argentinian police for directions. Almost everyone I asked for directions made me show them my passport and bike papers first. grrr!
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