The road from the historic Recoleta neighborhood to the G20 Media Center in Buenos Aires is empty. Aside from motorcades and buses with journalists, only pedestrians and bicycle riders can go through.
Law enforcement agents blocked highways and streets around summit venues with iron walls. Tough security measures are in place in Buenos Aires to prevent incidents. pic.twitter.com/aX9hyCUWby— Denis Bolotsky (@BolotskySputnik) December 1, 2018
Even though the central part of the city is on lockdown, most locals seem to be fine with restrictive measures, showing their papers to police, crossing checkpoints and going about their business.
The authorities prepared for the worst in countering violent protests during the summit, but, as it turned out, the rallies were peaceful, with anti-G20 activists expressing themselves through song and street art. pic.twitter.com/nHb8K8Jpg5— Denis Bolotsky (@BolotskySputnik) December 1, 2018
Following last year's violent clashes during the G20 summit in Hamburg, journalists brought protective gear to the Buenos Aires rally, but, luckily, it wasn't needed. It appears that most aggressive members of the anti-capitalist crowd, who were present in Germany, just didn't make it to Argentina.
The atmosphere at the G20 media center was just as relaxing as the mood in the streets of Argentina's capital. Journalists had a chance to taste local specialties — empanadas and desserts with dulce de leche topped with a glass of excellent Malbec wine.
Local small and medium enterprises were showcasing their products at the summit venue.
Igor Baratoff is from “the Malbec country” – Argentina’s Mendoza province. His family has Russian and Ukrainian roots and he was happy to show his organic products to foreign journalists. pic.twitter.com/AtJInfUFqm— Denis Bolotsky (@BolotskySputnik) December 1, 2018
Argentina's government has put a lot of effort into promoting local brands. Igor's "Nuestras Manos" company is one of the country's many enterprises that went through certification process and received the special "Quality Seal".
Celeste Barcus, the coordinator of “Quality Seal: Argentine Food” program, talking about government support of quality Argentinian products and beverages pic.twitter.com/NyuEmlrvMA— Denis Bolotsky (@BolotskySputnik) December 1, 2018
The authorities spent millions of dollars on the summit's security and invested heavily into promoting local products, tourist destinations and investment opportunities. Argentina became the first South American country to host the G20, and, judging by the overall summit mood, it was a positive experience. But whether this "G20 moment" will bring more long-term effects, helping to improve the country's economy — remains to be seen.