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It was, without doubt the most expensive pizza I’ve ever eaten. I handed over $150 in cash, a credit card, a digital camera and a mobile phone, and all I got in return was a 12-inch mushroom and pepperoni pie, with no extra toppings.

I’d just placed my order in a takeout pizzeria in the Chilean capital, early on a recent evening, when three young guys came in, checked the place out, and drew guns. One stuck a revolver between my ribs and made me empty my pockets, another did the same to a fellow customer, and the third shouted at the woman behind the counter to open the register. She mumbled that she couldn’t, or that there was no money. His friends had already left, so he turned and ran after them.