I've traveled quite a bit in my life but never actually has anyone attempted to mug me until now. Actually it wasn't me but my travel companion who almost had her purse stolen.
We were walking down the touristy area of Montevideo, I had my camera tucked away in my backpack and my travel companion had her purse over her neck and shoulder. As we were walking someone came up from behind her attempting to pull on the purse and break the strap. It didn't break, and took a second too realize what was happening. On seeing some kid who was approximately 13 or 14 I went to chase and beat down. He ran to the opposite side of the street where about 4 other kids of the same size and age were. They had little bamboo sticks that they started waving at me, in what they were trying to imply as a threatening manner. Seriously though, they were little sticks and kids, so my anger took over any potential fear I was supposed to be experiencing. "What are you going to do with that?" I yelled at one of them as I chased after the little basters, but not quick enough to actually catch one of them. They responded in Spanish, with something I didn't understand. I was informed later that was kind of funny with me yelling in English and them in Spanish.
After what was probably less than a minute, I gave up the chase and they quickly moved together as a group and began to walk away. I went back to where my travel companion was to see if she was okay, and finding out she was, we walked in the other direction as if nothing had happened either group.
It didn't take long for me to calm down, but it really is good that the little bastards were quick, because if I had gotten hold of one of them I probably would have seriously injured one. I know in a place like Montevideo income is low, and sometimes people have to do extreme things to live, but I didn't get that vibe from these kids. I think these kids were find and just tying to steal some silly tourist purse.