Pirañitas

Posted by Patrice Neff Tue, 28 Feb 2006

Yesterday I had the unpleasant experience of being robbed. A young man grabbed me from behind and another young man with two boys (about eight years old) took all my things. Luckily I wasn't traveling with too many things: just a bit of money, my pocket knife and my Bible. I sure am glad that for quite some time now I never travel with my identity documents or credit cards. The whole thing happened about one block from the church and during the day, at ca. 16:30.

Not the one to give up easily, I went looking for police. When I asked people in the street, where I could find police, they didn't know. The first police car I saw on the street ignored my request to stop, even though they confirmed that they had seen me. The second car had to stop at the red light, so I talked to the policemen in the car and told them about the incident. They didn't really care. They were kind enough to drive me back near to where I live, but they had no intention to go looking for the kids and make them return the stolen stuff. And that was the really disappointing thing. Peru is therefore a country where not even the police has the courage to stand up to crime. And that's pretty sad.

I was told today, that groups like that are called Pirañitas ("little piranhas").

And that's already the second time, where something was stolen from me in Peru. In Arequipa someone stole my digital camera - which thought me to be a bit more careful with my stuff. Not enough, yet, it seems.