The US Department of State renewed its travel advisory for Colombia today, October 30, 2020, advising travelers in their words “to reconsider travel to Colombia.”
Colombia’s crime and violence situation seems to be worsening as the current administration of Ivan Duque refuses to implement the peace accords signed under the previous administration of Juan Manuel Santos. The crime wave that includes record cocaine production, a rash of assassinations of social and community leaders, and general insecurity seems to have multiple factors from a government unwillingness to impose order and security in rural areas, decreased public trust in institutions, economic challenges due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, and a Venezuelan refugee crisis.
The US State department has issued a bulletin advising US citizens and nationals to “Reconsider travel to Colombia due to COVID-19 and to exercise increased caution in Colombia due to crime, terrorism and kidnapping. The department has invited the public to read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Colombia due to COVID-19.
Colombia has lifted stay at home orders and resumed some transportation and business operations though this weekend, several areas such as the department of Antioquia, home to Colombia’s second largest city of Medellín has imposed new restrictions this weekend cancelling Halloween trick-or-treating, banning alcohol sales until next Tuesday, and imposing a night-time curfew between 10pm and 6am even in small rural towns throughout the department.
The US State Department says:
Do Not Travel to:
- Arauca, Cauca (except Popayan), Chocó (except Nuquí), Nariño, and Norte de Santander (except Cucuta) departments due to crime and terrorism.
Reconsider Travel to:
- Several departments throughout the country due to crime and terrorism.
Country Summary: Violent crime, such as homicide, assault, and armed robbery, is common. Organized criminal activities, such as extortion, robbery, and kidnapping for ransom, are widespread.
While the Colombian government signed a peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) terrorist group, some dissident groups refuse to demobilize.
The National Liberation Army (ELN) terrorist organization continues plotting possible attacks in Colombia. They may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.
U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling freely throughout Colombia for security reasons.
Read the country information page.
According to the State Department, If you decide to travel to Colombia:
- See the S. Embassy’s web page regarding COVID-19.
- Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebookand Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Reportsfor Colombia.
- S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Arauca, Cauca, Chocó, Nariño and Norte de Santander Departments – Do Not Travel
Violent crime, including armed robbery and homicide is widespread.
Terrorist groups are active in some parts.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens as U.S. government personnel cannot travel to these areas due to security concerns.
Visit the State Department website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
Several Departments throughout the Country – Reconsider Travel
Reconsider Travel to:
- Antioquia department north of Medellin
- Caquetá department
- Casanare department
- Cesar department outside of Valledupar
- Cordoba department outside of Montería
- Guainía department
- Guaviare department
- Meta department
- Putumayo department
- Valle del Cauca department outside of Cali and Palmira area
- Vaupes department
- Vichada department
Violent crime, including armed robbery and homicide, is widespread.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens as U.S. government personnel cannot travel to these areas because of security restrictions and limited domestic travel options.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
- U.S. Embassy Bogota, Colombia
- U.S. Consular Agency, Barranquilla
- U.S. Department of State – Consular Affairs
1-888-407-4747 or 1-202-501-4444
- Colombia Country Information
- Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter