Possible Demonstrations and Roadblocks in and around Oruro

WARDEN MESSAGE - U.S. EMBASSY LA PAZ, BOLIVIA - August 18, 2010 - This warden message informs U.S. citizens traveling to and residing in Bolivia of the possibility of demonstrations and roadblocks in and around the Oruro region next week.


Community members in Oruro threaten to stage protests and erect road blockades if the Government of Bolivia fails to respond to a list of twelve demands linked to development projects in Oruro and to resolution of a longstanding border dispute with Potosi. If their demands go unmet, the community members say they will pressure the government by placing roadblocks along the intercity routes connecting the cities of La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Oruro, and Potosi. The protesters would allegedly stage their operations in the town of Caracollo, twenty-six miles northwest of Oruro, along the primary route linking La Paz and Cochabamba.

The Embassy urges U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to Oruro, Caracollo, and the surrounding regions until the situation is resolved. U.S. citizens planning to travel between the cities of La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Oruro, and/or Potosi should consider their routes and check news reports prior to departing for updates on possible protest and blockade locations.

U.S. citizens who are currently in or around Oruro should consider leaving the area before next week in anticipation of possible social unrest and road blockades.

The U.S. Department of State issued a Travel Alert for Bolivia on August 12, 2010 to alert U.S. citizens of the unstable social and security situation in several regions across the country. U.S. citizens are encouraged to review the travel alert on the Embassy's website or at http://travel.state.gov.

U.S. citizens are reminded that demonstrations and road blockades are not unusual in Bolivia, and even though they might be intended to be peaceful they can turn confrontational between security forces, demonstrators, and bystanders, and escalate into violence. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any protests. If you find yourself in the vicinity of a large gathering, it is recommended you leave the area immediately for your own safety.

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) 715-33713 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 through Thursday from 08:00 to 12:30, and Thursdays from 14:00 to 16:00. The Santa Cruz consular agency can be reached by telephone at (591-3) 351-3477. The Cochabamba consular agency is temporarily closed.

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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