Issued by US Department of State
Sep 12, 2008
This Travel Warning is being issued to alert U.S. citizens to the unstable social and security situation in Bolivia. The Department of State has authorized the departure of non-emergency personnel and all family members of U.S. Embassy personnel in Bolivia and suggests all U.S. citizens defer non-essential travel to Bolivia. U.S. citizens currently in Bolivia should remain vigilant, monitor local media, review their security posture on a regular basis, and consider departing if the situation allows. Travelers in vehicles should not attempt to pass through or around roadblocks, even if they appear unattended. U.S. citizens who encounter a demonstration should try to depart the area as quickly as possible.
Over the course of the past weeks, opposition to the Central government s policies by five of the nine departments (Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando, Chuquisaca and Tarija) has turned increasingly violent. Hunger strikes, marches and road blocks that were initially peaceful have become violent as pro-government and opposition forces attempt to consolidate or impede control of government buildings and strategic facilities, such as the gas and oil pipelines. To date, more than a dozen persons have died and over 100 persons have been seriously injured. Police and military police have lost control of the situation in some areas and cities of those departments, and the road blocks and other measures taken by the opposition are making gas, diesel and other essential items unavailable. No one can, with any degree of confidence, predict what may happen in the near future.
The U.S. Embassy in La Paz continues to review its security posture and may, from time to time, close for routine services. U.S. consular personnel remain available to provide emergency information and services to U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens in need of Embassy assistance should call the Embassy's Consular Section at (591) 2-216-8297 during working hours or 216-8500 after hours or on weekends.
American citizens should monitor the U.S. Embassy web site, http://bolivia.usembassy.gov, and stay in contact with family and friends in the United States. Family members and friends unable to verify the safety and welfare of U.S. citizens in the affected area should call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or from other areas via a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. Americans residing or traveling in Bolivia are encouraged to register and update their contact information at the U.S. Embassy in La Paz and/or the U.S. consular agencies in Cochabamba and Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Registration may be done online and can be done in advance of travel. Information on registering may be found at the Department of State's Consular Affairs web site: https://travelregistration.state.gov. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the embassy to contact them in case of emergency.
For the latest security information U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings, Country Specific Information, and health information resources can be found. Updated information on travel and security in Bolivia may also be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States or by calling 1-202-501-4444 outside the United States. During regular work hours, the American Citizens Services unit at the Embassy in La Paz may be reached at 591-2-216-8297. The consular agencies may be reached in reached in Santa Cruz at 591-3-351-3477 and in Cochabamba at 591-3-411-6313.