Viewing cable 08BUENOSAIRES1069
Title: ARGENTINA: STAFFDEL MEACHAM, AUG 5-8, 2008

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08BUENOSAIRES10692008-08-04 09:47:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Buenos Aires
VZCZCXYZ0005
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1069/01 2170947
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 040947Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1689
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001069 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR H, PATRICIA DIGGS 
DEPARTMENT FOR RM/F/DFS/FO/AA/CAA 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: OREP AMGT ASEC AFIN AR
SUBJECT: ARGENTINA: STAFFDEL MEACHAM, AUG 5-8, 2008 
 
REF: SECSTATE 82400 
 
¶1.  The Ambassador warmly welcomes Mr. Carl Meacham, Professional 
Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  The purpose of 
the trip is to meet with leading Argentine government officials, 
legislators, and representatives of civil society organizations. 
 
¶2. Control Officer will be Pickering Fellow Anthony Diaz.  Email: 
DiazA1@state.gov.  Embassy address: Av. Colombia 4300, Cellphone: 
(011-54-9-11) 4172-7440; Home Phone: (011-54-11) 4777-4825. Embassy 
Phone (011-54-11) 5777-4234. Embassy Hours: 08:45 am to 05:45 pm. 
 
Administrative point of contact will be Management Officer Dorothy 
Sarro.  Email: SarroDK@state.gov, Cellphone: (011-54-9-11) 
4198-8662; Home Phone: (011-54-11) 4802-6607. 
 
¶3. Post has secured reservations at the following hotel: 
 
Marriott Plaza Hotel 
Florida 1005 
Buenos Aires 
C1005aau Argentina 
Phone:  54 11 4318 3000 
Fax:  54 11 4318 3008 
Arrival date: August 5, 2008 
Departure date: August 7, 2008 
Nights: 2 
1 standard non-smoking room 
Confirmation number: 84387028 
 
Hotel rate for standard room: usd 150.00 + 21% taxes= usd 182.00 
breakfast is included.  Cancellation policy is as follows: 
Cancellations must be made within 24 hours of arrival otherwise the 
hotel will charge for one night stay. 
Late checkout (6pm) requests will be granted depending on 
availability or can be guaranteed for half the daily rate. Post will 
provide meet and greet assistance and transportation throughout the 
Staffdel's stay in Argentina. 
 
¶4. Visas: Visitors are reminded that Argentina requires visas in 
U.S. diplomatic and official passports for official travel. Persons 
traveling on official business and carrying diplomatic or official 
passports who arrive without a valid visa may be denied entry and 
sent back to point of origin. The Embassy is unable to secure entry 
of travelers who arrive without visas. 
 
¶5. Airport tax:  Official visitors, holding diplomatic or regular 
passports, are required to pay the airport tax. For international 
flights, the tax is us $18 per passenger (vat-exempt) or peso 
equivalent, payable in cash, with traveler's checks or credit cards. 
 
 
¶6. Threat assessment: 
 
¶A.  Political violence/terrorism: liaison with host government 
police and security forces indicate there is little threat to U.S. 
citizens (official visitors, business visitors, tourists) from 
indigenous terrorist organizations in Argentina.  There are no 
violent domestic groups currently active in this country that are 
specifically targeting U.S. interests.  However, given the presence 
of members of and support for extremist international terrorist 
groups such as Hizbollah in the tri-border region of Argentina 
(Misiones province), visitors here cannot discount the possibility 
of terrorist activity, to include random acts of anti-American 
violence. 
 
¶B. Crime: Petty street crime in the city of Buenos Aires and the 
immediate suburbs continues to be a problem for residents and 
visitors alike. Burglaries in the more fashionable suburbs have been 
a particular problem. Visitors to the city of Buenos Aires should be 
aware of problems with hotel security (i.e. thefts from room) and 
pickpockets or purse snatching on the streets and public 
transportation (buses and trains). Pickpockets often work in pairs 
and employ a variety of ruses to victimize the unsuspecting visitor. 
 In recent years, most crime affecting visitors has been 
non-violent; aggravated robberies, shootings, etc., while not 
completely unheard of in Buenos Aires were nonetheless uncommon. 
Recently, however, incidents of armed invasions of restaurants, 
shops and residences by criminal groups are being observed with 
greater frequency, and as a result, it is recommended that due 
caution be exercised when traveling about the city.  However, in 
general, the crime level in Buenos Aires is less severe than large 
U.S. cities. 
 
Pickpockets often work in pairs and employ a variety of ruses to 
victimize the unsuspecting visitor.  In recent years, most crime 
affecting visitors has been non-violent; aggravated robberies, 
shootings, etc., while not completely unheard of in Buenos Aires 
were nonetheless uncommon.  Recently, however, incidents of armed 
invasions of restaurants, shops and residences by criminal groups 
are being observed with greater frequency, and as a result, it is 
recommended that due caution be exercised when traveling about the 
city.  However, in general, the crime level in Buenos Aires is less 
severe than large U.S. cities. 
 
¶7. Accommodation exchange in pesos will be provided by control 
officer upon arrival. 
 
¶8. Telephone Calls:  Visitors should bring fund cites or credit card 
to cover the cost of official international and in-country long 
distance telephone calls.  International calling cards are 
recommended. 
 
¶9. Laptop Computers/Digital Cameras: Laptops/palm pilots, cellular 
phones and other electronic devices may not be brought into the 
Embassy without the prior approval of the regional security office. 
Personally owned laptops/palm pilots may not/not be used in the 
Embassy.  USG-owned laptops may only be used in controlled access 
areas (CAA) if the user certifies that the computer has been 
continuously under the personal control of a cleared American 
throughout transit.  If this requirement is not met, the laptop can 
only be used outside of the CAA.  USG-owned palm pilots are under 
the same restrictions as cellular phones and other electronic 
devices, and may not be utilized within the CAA.  At the embassy, 
all USG issued or personal cellular phones must be left outside of 
the CAA.  Use of cellular phones outside of the CAA is not 
restricted.  It should be noted that if traveler is bringing a 
cellular phone into the country, argentine law requires the traveler 
to declare the phone, including its value, when filling out the 
customs and immigration declaration form. 
 
¶10. For further general information regarding travel to Argentina, 
travelers should consult the department of state internet site at 
http://travel.state.gov/, which includes the latest consular 
information sheet for Argentina. 
 
¶11. This telegram has been cleared by the Deputy Chief of Mission. 
 
¶12.  Visit the Embassy Buenos Aires classified webpage at: 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires 
 
WAYNE 
[hng1]This is for Meacham.