Maybe you do remember the impressive show off of 'summertime' policeman in Mar del Plata and along the Costa Atlantica of some years ago. It was called Operativo Sol and policemen where dressed as Californian policemen, with cargo shorts, flashy
We have been here since December 20th, when Mar del Plata still belonged to their residents and not to the hoards of tourists swarming in from the Gran Buenos Aires. Tourists usually come in after the festivities, and on January 2nd people started to arrive. With them, also a show off of Police.
they parked giant pick-ups with black stickers and big printouts, US sheriff style, along the sidewalks of the promenade, surrounded with high visibility green flag reading 'POLICE'.
Specially equipped trucks with mobile police offices have appeared where the main tourist attractions are, giving away handouts.
There are also special elevated posts near beaches and in the main squares.
But together with this impressive show off of police, also trapitos have arrived massively after the holidays. There were some already 'on duty' on December, but right now every single block has one. Men, women, children. It is a really democratic job. Going out to shop for groceries, have a drink out, or simply to buy household goods has become very expensive. They are even outside of supermarkets and the stores couldn't be bothered less. We have been skipping some places as we do not want to pay 2-3 USD just to park on a public street. Make 3 or 4 stops in your shopping journey, and you've wasted ten dollars just to go out!
However, today the police made another show for us at the beach (Playa Grande). They raided the beach for abusive sellers. You know the men and women selling boiled corn, hot dogs, swimsuits, etc. They have confiscated all of the swimsuits. For 40 surreal minutes there was nobody shouting "Pancho! Pancho!". Then they came back. We overheard them saying that paying the fine is optional.