Demonstration Notice - Blockades in the Departments of La Paz and Oruro

Wed, Mar 20, 2013. U.S. Embassy, La Paz, Bolivia: The U.S. Embassy in La Paz has received information about an indefinite general strike in the Department of Oruro and also numerous road blocks and blockades that have been set up on major throughways and roads outside of La Paz.


Travel has been disrupted due to these road blockades, particularly to and from the city of Oruro. U.S. citizens are advised to postpone travel to Oruro and to check the local news for updates on the situation.

These strikes usually involve demonstrations. The locations of the demonstrations and road blocks will likely change throughout the strike.

When roadblocks are encountered, U.S. citizens should not attempt to pass through them.

U.S citizens are reminded of the following emergency preparedness advice and directives:

· Maintain an adequate supply of food, water, medicines, and any other necessary items for your family on hand in your home.
· Fill your vehicle with gas and avoid letting it get below half tank.
· Avoid areas where roadblocks and demonstrations are occurring and do not attempt to run blockades.
· U.S. citizens are advised to monitor the local media.

The U.S. Embassy reminds you that demonstrations and road blockades are not unusual in Bolivia. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence between security forces, demonstrators, and bystanders. U.S. citizens should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations. Be alert and aware of your surroundings and pay attention to what the local news media has to say. Please note that the police have limited capabilities outside major cities and communication is poor.

You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the Embassy website, found at http://bolivia.usembassy.gov/. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, by calling the regular toll line at 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 are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the embassy/consulates to contact them in case of emergency. Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

You can contact the American Citizen Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, via e-mail at consularlapazacs@state.gov or by telephone at 591-2-216-8246 during regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or 591-715-33713 after hours and on weekends. The U.S. Embassy is located at 2780 Arce Avenue in La Paz, Bolivia, and is open to the public by appointment on Monday through Thursday from 08:00 to 12:30, and Thursdays from 14:00 to 16:00. You can schedule a non-emergency appointment by visiting this website.

The Embassy operates two Consular Agencies in the cities of Santa Cruz and Cochabamba, Bolivia. These agencies can also provide assistance to U.S. citizens. The Santa Cruz Consular Agency is located on Roque Aguilera Avenue #146 (3rd ring). You can contact the Santa Cruz Consular Agency by telephone at 591-3-351-3477, during regular business hours (Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.). The Cochabamba Consular Agency is located on Edificio Saal, Avenida Pando 1122, 1st Floor. You can contact the Cochabamba Consular Agency by telephone at 591-4-411-6313, during regular business hours (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.). If you wish to visit the Consular Agencies for a non-emergency matter, please schedule an appointment.

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