Last night, in San Isidro on Av. Libertador, my husband was assaulted by a drunken/drugged cartonera after he refused to give her some money. It was about 1 AM and he was sitting in his the car, ready to drive back to Capital after taking home an ill friend from the hospital.
He was first approached by two male cartoneros asking for "some coins" while walking toward the car. He said he didn't have any on him and went into his car. Then a female cartonera approached him at the car window, asking again for money. He lowered the car windows to say he didn't have any. The lady then slipped her hand through the car window and slapped him violently on the face, scratching his face and neck, breaking his glasses, that fell into the car.
From the bruises on his neck, he supposes she was trying to grab a necklace he didn't have (we do not wear any jewellery, ever). As my husband proceeded to start the car and run away, she repeatedly hit the car with her hands in disappointment. A zombie-like move as seen in apocalyptical video games.
He didn't file a report with the police since it was late in the night and in the end they wouldn't do anything. They definitely wouldn't arrest a lady for a slap, and at most they would simply take her to the Commissary, ask her some questions, and let her free again. A useless exercise and a waste of time for everyone.
This is the first violence we ever suffered in 9 years. I am glad that the aggression was just with bare hands and that my husband made it rather unscathed. However, he is rather shocked and it will just make him even bitter toward anyone asking for money on the street, which is something that happen regularly. We have pepper spray, but he didn't have it on him yesterday.
Had the cartonera had a knife or a bat, the outcome would have been very different...