Update on Demonstrations and Roadblocks Affecting Travel Across the Country
WARDEN MESSAGE - U.S. EMBASSY LA PAZ, BOLIVIA - October 14, 2010 - This warden message informs U.S. citizens traveling to and residing in Bolivia of demonstrations and roadblocks affecting travel across the country. This message supersedes the previous warden message sent on October 12, 2010.
The Embassy has learned that several groups across Bolivia will continue to stage protests and blockades in the coming days. The Embassy is presently aware of the possibility of the following activities:
Protest at the U.S. Embassy in La Paz:
· La Paz: Protesters plan to stage a large demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy on Friday, October 15. The demonstration is expected to grow in numbers over the course of the day on Friday. While the protest is expected to be peaceful, U.S. citizens are urged to defer all non-emergency business with the Embassy to next week.
· The route between La Paz and the Yungas region remains blocked. In addition, smaller roadblocks may be in place throughout the Yungas.
· Several groups have also announced plans to block all highways in Bolivia and deny access to the city of La Paz. While roads remain clear as of the transmission of this message, U.S. citizens traveling by road in the region are urged to check news and traffic reports frequently and remain abreast of possible closure of key routes into and out of the city.
U.S. citizens are reminded that demonstrations and road blockades are not unusual in Bolivia and frequently intensify in the month of October. Though they might be intended to be peaceful, they can turn confrontational between security forces, demonstrators, and bystanders, and escalate into violence. The U.S. Embassy urges American citizens to avoid the areas of demonstrations, including those targeting the U.S. Embassy, 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.
The Embassy urges U.S. citizens planning any intercity travel to consider their routes and check news reports prior to departing for updates on possible protest and blockade locations.
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 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.
We hope this information is useful to you. If we may provide further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.
American Citizen Services Unit
U.S. Embassy La Paz, Bolivia