Buenos Aires

While Buenos Aires host some of the worlds most impressive achitecture, many builings and magnificent monuments have been defaced as Argentinos vent their anger over the state of the economy. Banks, and anything near banks, suffer the brunt of this wrath. For many years the Argentine peso was tied by law to the US dollar--one peso to 1 dollar. About a year or so ago the peso was devalued and now hovers around 3.15 pesos per dollar. The worst part is that since the dollar was widely accepted in Argentina, many people had put their money in banks in dollars, and now are allowed to take it back out only as pesos. Consequently, people have lost 2/3rds of their life savings. To make matters worse, the government, in an effort to prevent a "run" on the nations banks, until recently would only allow the withdrawal of about the equivalent of 65 dollars a month. Their anger is understandable.
This Buenos Aires policeman stands by as the woman in the background paints anti-government slogans on this statue in front of BankBoston. We asked a cadre of policeman that are always in riot gear near the entrances to downtown banks why nothing is done about defacing monuments. Their reply--"this is Argentina." I stood next to the grafiti artist to take the picture of BankBoston (below).



Most downtown banks have covered the ground floors in steel sheeting. Some even paint over or wash off the slogans daily. It is not uncommon to see someone painting or hammering on the sheet metal. While some of the slogans are aimed at American and other foreign investment, the attitude towards American tourists remains friendly.