Police Troubles in Argentina
I’m from Argentina, and with my wife we know some of you. And I know that sometimes you had troubles with the Police here.
Some of you don’t know which kind of problems.
Well, some of the police, most in the northeast, are not too much honest (to be polite with them) and they will try to get money from you.
First, The police in Argentina are not allowed to receive money from the drivers. If you don’t have anything in order they will make a bill and you have to pay at the Municipality Court.
The police have a lot imagination to ask you strange things. They can ask you a white sheet (to cover you if you dead), A fire extinguisher (only is an obey for the cars), and things like that.
The only problem is the 3rd party insurance, here is an obey, but….. you can show any paper in English, its really difficult find a police who speak English.
At some Europeans Embassies you can find a form to fill whit the names of the policeman or any functionary to present there to make any reclaim. The most of the times when they see the form and you explain what’s that they say GO!!!
But any way some times the police could be hard, try to measure the problems if you insist.
The best is start with I DON’T SPEAK SPANISH. I DON’T UNDERSTAND. KEEP SMILING. AND REMEMBER YOU HAVE MORE TIME THAN THEY.
Hope be useful
Javier & Sandra…….
[This message has been edited by javkap (edited 14 November 2004).]
Good advice, and thanks for the information Javier and Sandra!
Of course one thing we'd like is to find out how to get 3rd party insurance, it seems to be impossible.
Good advice indeed. As you know Javier, I am in the process of trying to purchase a bike here in Buenos Aires. I too, would love to know where the hell I can buy insurance!
There's no justice, just us.
I work on my shop like a insurance broker but always to customers and bikes natives, tomorrow I will inquire about the requires to foreign people and bikes, I will post the answer as quickly than I have it.
Mick: sorry about the late answer for you but I’m trying to do some summary like FAQ about to “Buy & Sell Bikes in Argentina” whit all the information what I have and send it to the B Board. Anyway phone me or come to visit me, I will try to help you, use the search function to find my address and phones.
As Javier knows, I recently crashed in the Laguna Brava and the police in that area ( west) were brilliant. They recovered my bike , took me to hospital and refused any money except to pay for diesel (they took me to the garage and i paid directly the gargae man)
So, don´t be too paranoid
Yes, Dave is right. Not all the Policeman are corrupt, they use to be helpful. But the police in the traffic control (specially in Formosa, Chaco, Entre Rios, Corrientes, Misiones.) use to try to get extra money. Not only to the foreign people. It’s thru don’t be paranoid. Often, most in the south, the police stop you to see the bikes and talk with you. But we want you know that the police must not take money from you.
Javier & Sandra......
I have third party insurance for my bike from ATM (Associacion Mutual para Condutores - Asistencia Total de Motovehiculos)
Address: Carabelas 281, 6th floor "B", Capital Federal, Buenos Aires
Tel: 4327 0403
Its one block from the obelisk.
Hope it helps
I just had these very problems in the northeast of Argentina. I agree that most police in Argentine are very helpful. However, I ran into some real bastards at the checkpoint on the way to Iguazu.
I stopped at the checkpoint and they led me into their police building. Inside they showed me a paper that said I must have a fire extinguisher and reflectors on my bike. I told them I didn´t have the fire extinguisher and they said I had to pay a fine of $300. When I said I didn´t have that much money, they asked me how much I had. Obviously they were going to take whatever they could get.
We went around and around for quite a while, with them even threatening to search me for the money. Finally they insisted that I go south to the nearest town and withdraw the money from a bank to pay their fine. Ya right.
I tried to find another road around this checkpoint but there just aren´t any in this part of the country. That´s why the checkpoint is there.
Later the next day I went back to their checkpoint and didn´t stop. In retrospect it was a very stupid thing to do since it put me in the wrong, instead of them being wrong. And because of this mistake I was forced to leave Argentina and miss the HU meeting in Viedma. Bummer. Argentina is such a beautiful country and most of the people are very friendly. I was sorry to leave.
So my advice is to avoid this part of Argentina, or this road at least (Ruta 14?).
My advices for controlls worldwide; stop in the middle of the road, in the sun or rain(!) until they say something else, never stop the engine until they wish it and don´t start to remove the helmet. Smile but don´t speak. 50% of all police officers in the world let you pass now. If they want to see the papers, give them copys ,never the original! Stay sitting on your bike, drinking something or imagine to search something in your tankbag - show no interest what they make with the copys, but allways stay polite and smile, but don´t speak. As Story said - if they can´t comunicate with you, it´s very hard to make you a problem and put you in the wrong. If you stay sitting on your bike, smiling like a n idiot they will get rid of you very fast. It allways worked, we never paid a bribe in two years travelling trough russia and S.A.
PS: special greetings and thanks to Javier!! Remember the two swiss with the dakars...?
I was in Argentina in 2003 (met with Javier and Sandra in Azul).Police was very polite except one time at a check point that it seems to be the same like the one Story had problems. Its after San Jaime on the way to Paso de los Libres on route 14. They had me there for 3 hours demanding 100 pesos for insurance, but I think they were just looking for an excuse.After I told them I did not have money (with my very limited spanish) they start bargaining, first 75 then 50. Finally it was getting dark and I did not want to stay there so I paid 27 saying that that was what I had on me. They gave me a receipt and I left. This happen end of September 2003 and I am sorry that I did not posted this earlier.It might have save somebody from troubles. The funny thing is that when I arrived in Argentina in December 2002 I made an insurance, but that was the only time I was asked for an insurance in SA and...I could not find it http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif
Ofcourse this incident did not change my opinion about Argentina and the people who are friendly and nice, and I look forward to go there again.
If are traveling without s rigid schedule it seems that you can wait out the police. I'd like to hear of people who have refused to pay anything and what eventually happened.
I don't thinkg driving through border checkpoints is a good idea, especially in today's political environment.
Also, if they see you have camera/computer equipment I don't think claims of poverty are going to be successful. You're already riding around on a machine that they could never afford.
[This message has been edited by JSherm (edited 10 December 2004).]
[This message has been edited by JSherm (edited 10 December 2004).]
This company in The Netherlands seems to be able to provida an insurance for South America
[This message has been edited by herbertroelandt (edited 27 December 2004).]
For info,I just got ripped off on an Ruta Nacional 14 checkpoint (at km 261 just outside Salto/ Concordia).
When they couldn´t find anything wrong with the papers or the bike, one of them charged me with speeding and fined me 300 pesos. There was no way I was speeding as I´d only just got on the bike and gone about 3km that morning. When I finally got round to translating the ticket it said "overtaking on a yellow line" so they couldn´t even get their story straight.... and it was for 120 pesos..... no prizes for guessing where the other 180 went!!
Apparently the traffic cops in this area are reknowned for ripping off foreigners so it might be worth avoiding the area if possible.
It was a real shame because otherwise everyone in Argentina (including the cops and border guards) has been really helpful and friendly.
The mongrels Gary encountered tried it on with me today. The first two police checks after entering Entre Rios pulled me over and tried the phoney charges routine.
The first was for speeding saying someone had snapped me 2kms up the road. I offered the policeman a lift back up the road and to pay double if there was someone there. He let me go.
The second had just got 100 pesos out of a German guy for not having the fire extinguisher. They took me into the little station and showed me a black folder with photocopied lists of fines and other scrap book cuttings, one of which listed fire extinguisher weights for vehicles. For me it was laughingly unconvincing. It looked like a photocopy of a fire extinguisher catalogue!
I told the policeman that unless he showed me a copy of the Argentinian laws with my offence listed I would not pay. I also mentioned that many motorcyclists were being fined in this region for this offence and yet the embassy in the UK had told me no law currently existed.
Finally I told him I did not want to break the law - that I was a policeman back in the UK, but it was totally unacceptable to pay a fine under these circumsatances. Then he let me go.
No doubt I will be nailed somewhere else up the road but if you get stopped in this place do not believe the black folder!
Seems like entre rios is a bad place for driving if you're a foreigner. As I wrote in another post, a policemen obviously tried to squeeze money out of me. I was lucky, he asked for my insurance, and doing like understanding nothing, it took him 15 minutes to explain me dummy-sure what he wanted. Was funny :-) I pointed to some entry in my bike papers which was for the european insurance, and a few minutes later he gave up and let me go.
That was on ruta 12, on km 117 or somewhere around there. Before the bridge over 'parana de guazu'
My advice from what I heard and saw: Try to avoid the whole entre rios if you're not patient enough for dealing with corrupt policemen......
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