released May 04, 2005, this information is current as of
Thursday, June 02, 2005. Travel
Warnings are issued when the State Department recommends that
Americans avoid a certain country.
This Travel Warning is being issued to remind American citizens
of ongoing security concerns in Colombia. This supersedes the Travel
Warning issued March 3, 2004.
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the dangers of
travel to Colombia. Violence by narcoterrorist groups and other
criminal elements continues to affect all parts of the country,
urban and rural, and border areas. Citizens of the United States
and other countries continue to be the victims of threats, kidnappings,
and other violence.
Violence has decreased
markedly in most urban centers, including Bogota, Medellin, Barranquilla,
and Cartagena. Nevertheless, since
the year 2000, 32 Americans were reported kidnapped in various
parts of the country, including four in 2004. No one can be considered
immune on the basis of occupation, nationality or any other factor.
A number of kidnappings are committed by terrorist groups, including
the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National
Liberation Army (ELN). The FARC are suspected of being responsible
for holding captive three Americans since February 2003. The U.S.
government places the highest priority on the safe recovery of
kidnapped Americans. However, it is U.S. policy not to make concessions
to, or strike deals with terrorists, so the U.S. government’s
ability to assist kidnapped U.S. citizens is limited.
Violence in Cali and the surrounding areas remains high, much
of it related to the illicit drug trade. Much of rural Colombia
also remains extremely dangerous due to the presence of narcoterrorists
and Colombian government operations against them. While family
members are allowed to accompany U.S. government officials assigned
to Colombia, in-country travel by U.S. officials and their families
is subject to restrictions. Travel by air is allowed to all major
cities, but urban and intra-city bus transportation is off-limits
to official Americans. U.S. citizens should not travel by road
outside of urban areas at night.
As the Department continues
to develop information on any potential security threats to U.S.
citizens overseas, it shares credible
threat information through its Consular Information Program documents,
available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. U.S. travelers
can also get up-to-date information on security conditions by calling
1-888-407-4747 in the U.S. or Canada or on a regular toll line
at 1-202-501-4444. U.S. citizens should also consult the Department
of State’s Consular Information Sheet for Colombia and the
Worldwide Caution Public Announcement at http://travel.state.gov.
to Travel Warnings Reference Section
to Destinations Main Reference Category
Return to NEWSdial.com