I had an interesting experience not to long ago. A friend from home was telling me about an incident that happened in MPLS and how my friends reported the incident to some cops that were making their rounds in the neighborhood. As she was telling me this, I wondered why they would trust the cops to help them. Then it clicked that I'm thinking about cops in the Argentine perspective.
The cops aren't trustworthy. They're sketchy guys who can be bought off very easily. I've been told that many are former military members during the Junta, and they revert to their "how it was during the dictatorship" ways quite quickly. During the demonstrations of the strike, the government-sponsored "Pro-Gov't" picketing group beat up many of the "Pro-Farmer" demonstrators, and the police just turned a blind eye.
Also, It isn't uncommon for the cops to sit with someone on the corner and catcall women as they walk by, or, my favorite...Two girls and I were walking home one night and we were all dressed up. The girls were wearing some pretty sexy outfits, and all of a sudden, we noticed a cop car driving alongside of us. The two officers were about 10 feet behind us, just creeping along checking out the girls the entire time.
These aren't the kind of men who I'd want to ask for help, in any situation. With the right amount of money, anyone can buy the upperhand in a disagreement, fight, etc.
Capital Federal, Buenos Aires, Argentina