Bolivia Public Announcement
Issued by US Department of State
Jan 12, 2007
This Public Announcement is being issued to alert Americans traveling to and residing in Bolivia to the ongoing volatile political and social situation in Bolivia, particularly the city of Cochabamba. This Public Announcement expires on February 9, 2007.
Protesters took over the main square and avenue in Cochabamba on January 8, demanding the resignation of Cochabambas prefect (governor). On January 11 violent confrontations resulted in three confirmed deaths and over 100 injured. Local authorities restored order, but the situation remains volatile. Demonstrations continue in Cochabambas main plaza and could occur in other public areas with little notice and possible violence. U.S. citizens planning to travel to Bolivia should carefully consider their plans in light of continuing tension in Cochabamba and the possibility that other parts of Bolivia may be affected by this conflict.
Grocery stores in Cochabamba reportedly are empty and roadblocks are preventing resupply. Roadblocks at bridges and on major thoroughfares may occur at any time throughout Cochabamba. On January 8, protestors interrupted the citys water supply for several hours; shortages continue, particularly near the main square. Local hotels in that area reportedly have adequate water and food supplies. U.S. citizens traveling to or from Cochabamba should contact their airline to confirm the situation at the airport.
The U.S. Embassy in La Paz has restricted travel by U.S. Government personnel to Cochabamba and directed U.S. Government personnel in Cochabamba to remain in their residences except for emergencies.
In other areas of Bolivia, a civic strike called for Santa Cruz for January 16 is expected to affect public transportation. Protestors in La Paz briefly closed El Alto International Airport late January 11. Overland travel has been impeded between Cochabamba and other parts of Bolivia.
Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can escalate into violence. American citizens are therefore urged to avoid areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. Since the timing and routes of marches and demonstrations are always subject to change, American citizens should monitor local media sources for new developments. American citizens are encouraged to avoid areas where these mass assemblies and demonstrations are expected to occur. Under no circumstances should anyone attempt to run a roadblock.
The U.S. Embassy routinely advises its employees to develop and periodically review their personal emergency plans; private U.S. citizens should do the same with particular attention to ensuring adequate water, food and gasoline supplies. For more information on emergency preparedness, please consult the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) Web site at http://www.fema.gov/. That Web site includes a Spanish language version.
For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings, and Public Announcements can be found. Additional information is available in the Consular Information Sheet for Bolivia at http://travel.state.gov and on the Embassys web page at http://bolivia.usembassy.gov
Current information on travel and security in Bolivia may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or, from overseas, 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). American citizens traveling or residing overseas are encouraged to register with the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate on the State Department's travel registration website at https://travelregistration.state.gov
U.S. citizens with concerns may contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (591-2) 216-8297 during working hours or USCit.Services.Bolivia@gmail.com or (591-2) 216-8500 after hours and on weekends. The Consular Section is located at the U.S. Embassy at 2780 Arce Avenue in La Paz, Bolivia. The Santa Cruz Consular Agency can be reached by telephone at (591-3) 351-3477 and the Cochabamba Consular Agency can be reached by telephone at (591-4) 411-6313.