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RMS Robbed of Passport and Other Belongings In Argentina 386

Posted by timothy
from the low-and-despicable dept.
New submitter Progman3K writes "Richard Stallman, father of the FSF, had his bag containing his laptop, medicine, money and passport stolen after his talk at the University of Buenos Aires on Friday, June 8." Adds reader jones_supa, excerpting from the same linked story: "As a result of this occurrence, he was forced to cancel his talk in Cordoba, and it's still unknown how this will impact the rest of his speaking engagements throughout the world."
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RMS Robbed of Passport and Other Belongings In Argentina

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 10, 2012 @09:44AM (#40274109)

    With the Truecrypt license? If he is using encryption, I suspect he is using the GPL licensed dm-crypt!

  • by moranar (632206) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @09:52AM (#40274173) Homepage Journal

    If you're going to be a smartass, at least do it properly.

  • by goruka (1721094) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @10:10AM (#40274287)
    University of Buenos Aires is a free, public university recognized as one of the best in the world. Anyone can attend and it's also filled with students from other South American countries that travel to Buenos Aires to study. Courses are usually huge, with ~200 students each, and anyone is free to attend them as a listener, even if you are not a student. Teachers, by tradition, are expected to be professionals that excelled in their respective fields and for them it is an honor to be able to be there, all this in the spirit of having the best public education.
    This much freedom has the obvious drawback that, as no one checks your student ID at the entrance, anyone can go in including thieves, which often mix up with other students to steal stuff. I've seen this happening several times myself so you have to watch out for strange people and your belongings all the time.
    As pro human rights groups are so strong here (product of opposition to US-Sponsored dictatorships during most of the past century), law is lax and stronger security measures are often seen in a negative light, as the population don't know anymore where to draw the line.
  • Re:Sigh. (Score:3, Informative)

    by just_a_monkey (1004343) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @10:20AM (#40274357)

    I think he would like that. The man seems to be all about getting his message out.

  • Re:Such a loss... (Score:5, Informative)

    by unixisc (2429386) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @11:53AM (#40275007)
    It is a unique laptop - one of the few in the US from Lemote Yeedong, and based on the Loongson CPU. But it's not running Hurd - Stallman has pretty much abandoned that in favor of his favorite GNewSense. But yeah, the user will have to be an Emacs expert to find it of any use.
  • by Isaac Remuant (1891806) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @12:01PM (#40275051)

    He was going well until he said:

    Better yet, don't even bother visiting. Third-world places are best shunned.

    That's an extremely ignorant comment. RMS has been to Argentina (and around Latin America) plenty of times without any problems. Shit happens. And it can happen in your beloved first-world New York too.

    Fuck condescending comments about the third world.

  • Re:Sigh. (Score:4, Informative)

    by muon-catalyzed (2483394) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @12:16PM (#40275137)
    > he would be fine...
    he was not fine once he learned it was stolen

    Pablo Antonio:
    It was a very sad moment. He was really distressed. He started yelling and punching himself in the head. He was worried because he had to be in Brazil soon, and he wouldn’t make it without his passport and all. And, apparently, his notebook was stolen too, and he said he wouldn’t be able to work for a week or so because of that.
  • by Lisandro (799651) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @01:15PM (#40275645)

    1) Argentina was quite prosperous at one time, but the past decade or so has been really hard on them. Their economic problems have caused a significant drop in the standard of living for many of its citizens, and crime has become much more of an issue. Today, it is much more akin to an African nation than it is to a Western nation.

    As an Argentinian myself, i have to (sadly) agree. The standard of living for major cities (Cordoba, Rosario, Buenos Aires) has dropped sharply in the past decade, but it is practically nonexistant once you travel to the north, where basic services like running water, electricity, or sewers are scarce if present at all.

    That said, Buenos Aires is more akin to a typical european city. But crime rates are horribly high - the citys' premimum neighborhoods and locations sits next to a shantytown so big it's almost a favela by now. You got to be careful if visiting.

  • even more disturbing (Score:3, Informative)

    by questionsaddict (1277150) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @01:21PM (#40275701)
    According to a testimonial, the whole incident was pretty thought through. The robbers replaced Stallman's bag with an identical, albeit empty one at the end of the talk. On top of it, the canera on which the whole conference (and probably the robbers) was filmed got stolen too. The op name is lucas romero if you want to try to find it. ill post a link when i get home
  • by hobarrera (2008506) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @03:10PM (#40276677) Homepage

    As someone how lives in buenos aires, I must tell you; you're quite wrong.
    I know which places to go to, and which no to go to. If you take a wrong turn, and walk 4 blocks down the wrong street, it might be your last wrong turn. Or you might just get mugged.

    I had a friend who got mugged waiting for the bus on their first trip to BA. It wan't just her though; it was the entire line of people waiting for the bus. Inside the main Terminal in Retiro, Buenos Aires.

    It's a mix... you have a small area that's first-world-ish, and the area next to it is almost third-world-ish.

  • by hjf (703092) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @07:47PM (#40278443) Homepage

    Well, Mexico is technically in North America. Nevertheless, what's happening in mexico (drug killings) isn't new.

    I'm not saying Argenina is a great economy, but I hate being compared to Somalia or whatever. Whenever someone mentions that living in Argentina is "bad" I just let pictures talk:

    http://img301.imageshack.us/img301/1020/catalinas2.jpg [imageshack.us]
    http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/3406/096catalinasnorte.jpg [imageshack.us]
    https://ayudabuenosaires.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/obelisco-av-9-de-julio.jpg [wordpress.com]

    I know that's just the capital, and things are MUCH better there. But I'll start to worry the day it stops looking as shiny as now.

  • Re:Sigh. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:40AM (#40279837)

    I've known Richard for decades. There's an American gesture where you close your fist and bang the top of your fist against your forehead, an expression of one's own stupidity. It's not painful, just dramatic, and it is *not* punching yourself in the head.

  • by Xest (935314) on Monday June 11, 2012 @04:51AM (#40280859)

    "The malvinas/falklands issue goes waaaaaay back, centuries back."

    Hardly. Argentina issued initial disputes up until 1849 and once in 1885, but then accepted British sovereignty. It was only in 1941 that Argentina decided to bring it up again because as it does now, and as it did in '82 it had a weak government that desperately needed to stir nationalist sentiment to try and bolster it's standing and the Falklands is an easy target. It's really no coincidence that the issue only ever comes up again each time Argentina has a government that's managed to completely fuck up the country through political incompetence.

    "But anyway, why does england claim a couple of islands on the other fucking side of the world and nobody thinks that's strange?"

    Because it's been inhabited by British people since the 1640s with only a couple of breaks hundreds of years ago?

    You could similarly ask why Alaska isn't Russian or Canadian when it's geographically closer to those nations than it is the US.

    There's a number of ways to determine the nationality of a nation and geographical proximity is only one of these, others include who got there first, what the population wants, who won it militarily and the fact of the matter is that Britain wins out hands down in all of these - it's questionable whether the British or French got there first, but the French support the British claim regardless, the British have clearly won it militarily when Argentina tried that tactic, and the population is British, and has been for hundreds of years.

    Fundamentally though, the United Nation's key point in terms of determining sovereignty is the will of the people living there. This is important, because no one should have to be ruled against their will, and whilst it does get abused (i.e. Russia pushing pro-Georgian people out of Georgian breakaway regions whilst making pro-Russian people Russian citizens to claim the will of the people) it is for the most part the most sensible option. It's also not as if Britain annexed it by pushing out an Argentine population, the British population has been there as long as any (including when the Spanish were there), the Spanish left, Argentina tried to settle elsewhere there on the island but with no British interference failed to do so because they were not prepared for the harsh weather and so gave up and left it.

    The fact is the people living there are living their legitimately, their ancestors settled their legitimately, and they did not use any kind of force to push anyone else out. Everyone else that settled/tried to settle left of their own accord. So if the population is there legitimately, and the population wants to be British the case is pretty clear cut - Argentina just doesn't have an argument.

    Again, Argentina's claim is about absolutely nothing more than bolstering a weak incompetent government with the time tested tactics of winning over the ignorant amongst society by using nationalism and populism.

    It's also worth noting that Britain even offered to work with Argentina on oil exploration etc. around the islands in the late 90s to at least try and improve relations which it did not have to do, but the Argentine government at the time, again, having fucked up the economy, decided it needed to ramp up the populist rhetoric and pulled out going on about sovereignty.

    Again, Argentina's arguments would have far more merit if it weren't for the fact that any claims continuously coincide with bad governance and decreasing popularity of the party in government at the time. When Argentinian governments have been doing well in the polls, they've not even brought up the issue, and have even sought to improve relationships, but every time an Argentinian government starts to struggle, it brings it up. It's pathetic.

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