“Food is stolen from plates”: merchants in the historic center of the City, worried about theft and permanent vandalism


The facts are constant and stand out for the deployment of a unusual violence. For example, a trans woman He threw a plate of gnocchi at a waitress at the Bar Cabildo restaurant and caused a deep cut on her face that required seven stitches.. That same person, last Sunday, activated a fire extinguisher in a kiosk: he filled it with dust, broke glass and stole products.

In another video you can see A man who threw a garbage can from the public street at the cashier of a kiosk, jumped on the cash register – knocking over all the displayed merchandise – and snatched the money from the collection.

These wild episodes occurred just two blocks from the Government House and one of the Plaza de Mayo, the Buenos Aires Legislature, the Cabildo and the Cathedral, among other maximum reference points of the historic center, one of the most touristic areas of the city of Buenos Aires. A postcard from the country to the world.

Sabrina Ávila, 37 years old, manager of the restaurant on the corner of Perú and Hipólito Yrigoyen, came to feel so helpless due to impunity that he decided to act. He gathered merchants to take action on the matter and took the lead in approaching the media. THE NATION He contacted her.

“Here everyone does what they want: the mantero, the homeless, the street vendors. Theft and vandalism are permanent in all businesses; We have been unsafe for years, we don’t have lights at night and we are two blocks from the Casa Rosada“explained the woman, indignant. “We need protection, we get tired of not being able to work; tourists ask for the bill quickly out of fear and leave”.

The woman explained that this has not only happened at the Cabildo Bar (Perú 86), but also at the London City restaurant, on Perú and Avenida de Mayo; in a kiosk on Avenida de Mayo, next to a Farmacity; another kiosk on the continuation of the pedestrian Florida; the Kentucky restaurant, and a bookstore on Avenida de Mayo, among other businesses.

They enter in a gang, like a piranha, and even steal the food from the diners’ plates. They break windows, they throw chairs, They come in a minimum of 30 times a day to harass customers asking for food or money, offering socks or handkerchiefs; our tourist clients get scared and ask us for the bill. These people fight among themselves, in the street, and we get paid, because with their altercations they break our infrastructure. Last month our brass handles were stolen and when there are demonstrations they break everything”Avila explained.

Furthermore, according to the person in charge of the Cabildo Bar, the amount of people sleeping on the street has increased drastically in recent times.

He maintains that, until now, the police seem to have not found solutions for them: “When you call the police it is because the episode has already occurred; They only take your data, but they never amount to anything; from here They took a computer to examine it and never returned it“, accurate.

The police in charge of the perimeter of the Casa Rosada is the Argentine Federal Police (PFA), but in the area where these vandalism and criminal acts occur, prevention is in the hands of the City Police.

The kiosk next to the Farmacity was robbed twice in one week: “They threw a trash can and a computer monitor at the cashier, who is now very scared and could not return to work”. According to Ávila, due to these facts There is no one detained.

It’s crazy what we are experiencing. I feel like another police officer because those here are a joke. You file a complaint and nothing happens. We are in the center of the historic center, where there is full tourism, and there is no lighting or security. It’s a joke not to be able to work in such a place, This is a no man’s zone. Actually, yes: it is a criminal zone”said Ávila.

He said that on a recurring basis there are a trans woman who has been harassing them for three years: “On the block there are disasters, one woman’s plate of gnocchi fluttered, another He cut his face with a broken glass bottle. and with a fire extinguisher he left a cloud of dust in businesses. It’s always going around. Everyone is afraid of him. He threatened to kill me“said the manager of the Cabildo Bar, who added:”I’m burned out. On Tuesday I made another complaint,” she closed.

According to information provided by the City Police, this trans woman, called Maylén Ayala has mental health problems and was arrested six times this month alone (on May 3, 4, 6, 12, 13 and 19) for mistreatment, harassment, intimidation, resistance to authority, minor injuries, theft and damage. Due to his own condition, just as he enters, he leaves.

They would assign a member of the Buenos Aires force to the kiosk as a deterrent measure, they stated.

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