American tourist Frank Joe Wolek (54) was stabbed 10 times this morning in La Boca, Buenos Aires.
He was attacked by 2 criminals while taking photographs. The camera was dropped and left in the crime scene. I can only assume the intention was to rob the camera. This would be very typical for the area, popular with both tourists and criminals preying on them. If the victim resisted and refused to give up the camera I can see how he could easily get stabbed over it. A plain clothes police officer in the area confronted the criminals shooting one in the chest while the other managed to escape.
Both the victim and wounded criminal are in critical condition.
This is just a reminder for everyone planning on visiting Argentina or other countries with high levels of violent crime. People plan their trip to these kind of places and 90% of the time it all works out great. But sometimes it doesn’t.
With places like these you really have to know what you’re getting into. I know my country very well, better than any tourist, and I would never be caught in such an area with an expensive camera or cell phone. Tourists simply don’t know any better.
What’s even worse, they don’t know how to react. When unarmed and kept at knifepoint or gunpoint by two criminals you just give them the camera. They are not bluffing and its just not worth getting stabbed or shot over.
It is a rather natural reaction to fight back when people are getting mugged. You see it with women holding on to their purses as they get dragged by snatchers on motorcycles.
*If you’re planning on fighting, then do it right. Be armed and keep a constant state of awareness. Chances are doing it will dissuade a good number of potential attackers.
*Now if you’re caught off guard in some 3rd world country then your camera or wallet just isnt worth getting killed over. Give it up and carry on with your life.
*When going to countries that aren’t that safe, plan accordingly. Don’t take anything too fancy, especially cameras. Don’t try to be like the locals, just stick with your group and your guide when wandering around.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”