Crime Rate in Santa Cruz - US Embassy Message

WARDEN MESSAGE, U.S. EMBASSY LA PAZ, BOLIVIA, March 23, 2010

This warden message informs U.S. citizens traveling to and residing in Santa Cruz about the increasing crime rate. Express kidnappings, carjacking, armed robberies, home invasions, sexual assaults, street purse snatchings and pick pocketing are the most common crimes on the rise.

Two important incidents were reported this month. Last week, a U.S. citizen received collateral damage to his residential perimeter wall when a neighbor's house was targeted by a drive-by shooting. Separately, a Bolivian national was murdered while sitting in his vehicle a few blocks from Hotel Los Tajibos.

U.S. citizens are urged to take increased precautions and maintain awareness at all times. Do not carry large amounts of cash or credit/debit cards, avoid traveling or walking alone at night, and always use a radio or hotel taxi.

U.S. citizens 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 website: https://travelregistration.state.gov.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's internet website at http://travel.state.gov where the current worldwide caution, travel warnings and travel alerts can be found. Additional information is available in the country specific information for Bolivia at http://travel.state.gov and on the embassy 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). U.S. citizens traveling or residing overseas are encouraged to register with the appropriate U.S. embassy or consulate on the State Department's travel registration web site at https://travelregistration.state.gov.

U.S. citizens may contact the consular section of the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, via e-mail at consularlapaz@state.gov or by telephone at (591-2) 216-8246 during business hours (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or (591-2) 216-8500 after hours and on weekends.

The consular section is located in the U.S. Embassy at 2780 Arce Avenue in La Paz, Bolivia, and is open to the public (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm and on Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.). The Santa Cruz consular agency can be reached by telephone at (591-3) 351-3477.

We hope this information is useful to you. If we may provide further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,
American Citizen Services Unit
U.S. Embassy La Paz, Bolivia

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