US Embassy Emergency Message for US Citizens in Bolivia 8 May 2012

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens – Wide-Spread Blockades and Demonstrations throughout Bolivia - U.S. Embassy La Paz, Bolivia - May 08, 2012


This Emergency Message informs U.S. citizens traveling to and residing in Bolivia that the U.S. Embassy in La Paz is not providing services to the public today due to ongoing transportation strikes, road blocks, and demonstrations that are taking place in La Paz. Please note that the Consular Agencies in Cochabamba and Santa Cruz are operating as normal and the Embassy remains open with limited staffing. In case of an emergency, please contact the duty officer at tel. 715-337-13.

The transportation strikes are expected to continue throughout the day, impacting the entire city, blocking major roads and access roads to the airport. Demonstrators at some blockades have been throwing rocks and engaging in other violent activity.

The U.S. Embassy reminds you 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. You should avoid them if at all possible. If you find yourself in the vicinity of a large gathering, you should leave the area immediately for your own safety. Be alert and aware of your surroundings and pay attention to what the local media have to say. Please note that the police have limited capabilities outside major cities and communication is poor.

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.

Please check on the Embassy website at http://Bolivia.usembassy.gov to find out when the Embassy in La Paz will provide services again.

You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the Embassy website, found here.

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 consularlapaz@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 in 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 through the US Embassy website.

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