On Sunday former Argentine soccer star Fernando Cáceres was shot in the head as theives tried to steal his car while he drove through the neighborhood of Ciudadela on the western outskirts of the City of Buenos Aires.
The 40-year-old Cáceres, who played for Argentina in the 1995 World Cup, now lies comatose in a hospital, with a bullet lodged inside his brain.
Unfortunately, what happened to Cáceres wasn’t an entirely isolated incident.
Car theft (including violent car jacking) has soared in Argentina so far this year. And it’s risen dramatically in the area where Cáceres was shot, as well as in other parts of the country.
Nationwide, car theft rose almost 21% in the first nine months of 2009, according to CESVI, a car and road safety organization. But the data vary dramatically depending on location.
Car theft rose only 2.4% in the capital City of Buenos Aires.
But it skyrocketed by 140% in the neighborhood of Ezeiza and by 197% in General Rodriguez and 136% in Lujan.
In the City of Buenos Aires, the worst areas were Flores, where theft rose 12.8%, and Retiro, where it jumped 12.5%.
In the country’s interior, car theft harshly affected Neuquen province (+67%), Mendoza (+66%), Santa Fe (+53%) and Cordoba (29%).