Bribes: Argentina/L...
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Bribes: Argentina/Latin America  


Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 9
16/07/2020 5:51 pm  

Excellent article here:  

There are two routes from Buenos Aires to Iguazú Falls - Argentina's most visited natural resource.   For political reasons I will not post here which of these routes has check points that regularly demand bribes from foreign over landers.  These bribes might  be levied  for anything from your motorcycle is too wide to where is your mandatory blanket/body bag in the event you run over and kill someone, or show me your fire extinguisher.  I agree totally with the article "how to deal with bribes" and can only add that it might be wise to discuss your route with locals to discover if it is  notorious for checkpoints with officials demanding bribes or not.   

In Argentina, motorcycles are not required to carry fire extinguishers, blankets to cover the dead, and are not restricted to any certain width.  Always be extremely polite, recognize that the official demanding the bribe is probably paid a very low wage and  is, most likely,  trying to support a family.... and be assured the local commandant and local political boss has his back.  But, you can print up -in your language - an official looking form - present this form to the official and demonstrate you are writing down the offense of which you are being cited and the amount of the bribe you are being asked to pay.  Ask the official for his name and ask to take a photo of his ID in sign language if necessary.  Then explain this form will be presented to your embassy and the tourist bureau. Learning and writing down a few appropriate phrases to be presented to officials demanding bribes in the local language prior to travel is advised.

In summary, ask a local about your route and the potential for being bribed, familiarize yourself with the motorcycle requirements of the country you are riding and be sure to conform to these requirements - for example a  South American country might require wearing a yellow vest. Create an official looking  form to record the name of the official, the offense and the amount of the bribe.  Before you pay anything....ask to take a photo of the officials ID and or the official himself.  Generally, following the guidelines in the article and being extremely polite but on  the offensive with an official looking form will get you on your way sans (without) bribe.  If the official declines to show and allow you to photograph his ID just wait it out as per the article.

 A dear male friend of mine was stopped because he was riding in flip - flops - he was asked for a bribe because "boots are required"-  as far as I know, boots are not required in Argentina- he simply leaned in and told the official - look - I am still drunk - I was with a beautiful woman last night and her boyfriend showed up so I jumped on my moto  to avoid a vary nasty encounter and rode off.... - The official understood perfectly and sent my friend on his way without hesitation and without paying a bribe.  Perhaps this example might not be with you -especially if you are traveling with a partner,  but always try to find some common ground with the official.

Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 11
26/08/2020 5:37 pm  

Great post, great advice! Love the story at the end! Nearly spat out my tea!