Roadblocks And Violent Clashes With Police Between La Paz And El Alto

Roadblocks in Bolivia. U.S. Embassy La Paz, Bolivia November 29, 2011, 1:45 pm This Emergency Message informs U.S. citizens traveling to and residing in Bolivia that roadblocks and violent clashes with the police are currently taking place on the Autopista between La Paz and El Alto and that other roadblocks may be established in other areas of the city.

As of the drafting of this message, the students from the Universidad Publica El Alto have constructed roadblocks on the autopista (highway) connecting La Paz with El Alto and are breaking windows of vehicles trying to pass through the toll booths. Violent clashes with the police have already occurred in this location and at least two policemen were injured.

Reports indicate that other groups are establishing roadblocks on other routes from the City Center into the Zona Sur, currently confirmed in Obrajes and Miraflores.

U.S. citizens are advised to check local news reports for updates on the blockades before attempting to travel by road within La Paz and from La Paz to El Alto.

Outside of La Paz, unrelated blockades have also been reported in Yapacani on the road from Santa Cruz to Cochabamba, Parotani between Oruro and Cochabamba, and in Pan Duro and on the road from La Paz to Oruro.

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 maintain at least a half-filled tank at all times.
• Avoid areas where roadblocks and demonstrations are occurring.
• Do not attempt to run blockades.
• Monitor local media for updates.

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 who travel to or reside in Bolivia are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to receive the most up-to-date security information. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You can contact the American Citizen Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia via e-mail at 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 and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.). The Cochabamba Consular Agency is located in the Edificio "SAAL," Avenida Pando No. 1122, Piso 1, Suites B and C. You can contact the Cochabamba Consular Agency by telephone at 591-4-411-6313 during regular business hours (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays: 08:30 to 12:30; Wednesdays: 13:30 to 17:30). If you wish to visit either the Santa Cruz or Cochabamba Consular Agencies for a non-emergency matter, please schedule an appointment through this website.

U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Bolivia which is located on the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs website. Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website which contains current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook, and download our Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

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