Travel Alert - Bolivia - August 12 to November 12 - 2010
Travel Alert - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE - Bureau of Consular Affairs - Bolivia - August 12, 2010 - This Travel Alert is being issued to alert U.S. citizens to unstable social and security situations in several regions of Bolivia. This Travel Alert expires on November 12, 2010.
Over the past three weeks, civic groups and other factions in the regions of Potosi, Oruro, and Uyuni have staged protests against the Bolivian government over a border dispute and accusations that the government has failed to follow through on development projects in their regions. Protesters have erected roadblocks along major intra-city routes, obstructing travel to and from these regions. Thousands of people, including several hundred tourists, have been trapped by the roadblocks for as long as 16 days. Food, water, and medical supplies in these regions are limited and looting is considered likely. Protesters, using dynamite and hunger strikes to call attention to their requests, have threatened to extend the blockades and demonstrations to the city of La Paz, if their demands are not met.
The State Department urges U.S. citizens in Bolivia to avoid making travel arrangements to Potosi, Oruro, or Uyuni until the situation is resolved. U.S. citizens in those regions should maintain a low profile and limit their movement until the situation subsides.
The State Department reminds U.S. citizens 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. 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.
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 agency in 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.