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Bolivia Warning - FYI

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Bolivia Warning - FYI

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1. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

An article was posted on the Seattle Times today. I thought I would share it with isnt to alarm anyone but just to make you aware and take precautions.

Here is the article.

2. Posted by findemundo (Full Member 127 posts) 11y

I received this from the U.S. State Department June 7, 2005.

Bolivia Travel Warning

This Travel Warning is being issued to warn American citizens of continued political unrest in Bolivia. The Department of State has authorized the departure of non-emergency U.S. Embassy personnel and all eligible family members of U.S. Embassy personnel and urges all U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to Bolivia. This Travel Warning supercedes the Public Announcement issued June 1, 2005.

Since May 16, various groups within Bolivia have conducted protests, demonstrations and blockades to protest the Bolivian government's hydrocarbons (gas) policy and demand a variety of political reforms as well as the resignation of the President and the dismissal of Congress. The focus of the protests is the capital city of La Paz and the surrounding Altiplano. The La Paz airport remains open, but some flights have been cancelled and others diverted. Travel from the airport to La Paz is subject to sporadic blockades. Roads running north and south from La Paz, to Lake Titicaca and Oruro, are blockaded and closed to travel.

The Department of State has authorized the departure from Boliva of non-emergency employees and eligible American family members of embassy personnel. American citizens should defer non-essential travel to Bolivia. U.S. citizens currently in Bolivia should remain vigilant, monitor local media, review their security posture on a regular basis, and consider departing. 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 in Bolivia are urged to register and update their contact information at U.S. Embassy La Paz or through the Department of State's travel registration website at In case of an emergency, please contact the Embassy at

011 (591-2) 216-8297 during business hours or 216-8000 after-hours; email

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy is located at 2780 Avenida Arce in La Paz. The Consular Agency in Santa Cruz is located at 146 Avenida Roque Aguilera (Tercer Anillo); telephone (591-3) 351-3477, 3479, or 3480. The Consular Agency in Cochabamba is located at Avenida Oquendo 654, Torres Sofer, Room 601; telephone (591-4) 411-6313. 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. U.S. citizens should consult the Consular Information Sheet for Bolivia and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, available on the Department's Internet site at

3. Posted by stephy (Full Member 51 posts) 11y

hi so what do you or anyone who reads this would suggest? i am on my way to bolivia, now BA, but i wanted to go there in July/ august. IS it possible, and if yes maybe too dangerous?
well, a little hassle might be worth visiting that great country, since it would be before peru the last stopp before going home...
well, guys, would be great if u could give any advice if you have some new info or more experience with the politics over ther.
thanks a lot

4. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

I would suggest avoidung Bolivia, until the situation improves. I think you're talking about major hassel (not minor). Plus their are many nearby areas that are well worth spending the time in (ie- Peru, Northern Chile).

Just stay abreast of the situation, it could improve any day.

Just my opinion.

5. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Quoting stephy

hi so what do you or anyone who reads this would suggest? i am on my way to bolivia, now BA, but i wanted to go there in July/ august.

July/August is a long time from now, I'd just keep checking and see if things improve. Right now, they appear to be getting worse not better. In a month, it may very weel be back to normal.

6. Posted by stephy (Full Member 51 posts) 11y

hey thanks a lot... i ll ask around since there is still a month time to go there...
well life is unpredictable and in this case i hope it is getting better....
well, u are so right, but what is this area without visiting bolivia? it wond be nice, but lets ait and see...
ciao steph

7. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

Yes Stephy, you are doing the right thing. The best thing to do is to check right before you head over there. The situation may get better or it may get worse. Let me just say this, whenever there has been a political uprising in Peru or Venezuela (where I have family), they are usually limited to a very specific part of the city. I have been to Peru when there were warnings from the US Dpt of State and I didnt hear or see a thing while in Lima. Of course, it always depends on where you are going.

My brother and sister still live in Lima and when I hear of something happening over there, I call to ck on them and everything is always ok. They say...there is nothing happening here, why? Unless you head specifically to the problematic areas (usually the center of town for political protests), there isnt much a problem. This may be the case in Bolivia as well.

Good luck!

8. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

I agree with Travel100 on this one Stephy. Just keep checking on it during your travels. Situations, such as these, can be a revolt one day and they kiss to make up the next. But, I would take heed of the Travel Advisory posted by Joshua. The US doesn't issue that type of recommendation if there is not a serious bit of violence going on. That is, they are not quick to pull their non-emergency Embassy personnel over a few minor squirmishes. We'd hate to see you get caught in the middle of something just because you are a visitor there.

Things will improve - they usually do, and you have time to wait this one out a bit longer. Good luck to you and I hope you get to see Bolivia!!

9. Posted by meerola (Full Member 32 posts) 11y

I was living in Cochabamba, Bolivia during the unrests of year 2000 (because of the privatisation of a water company). Apart from most of the shops being closed most of the days, and difficulties in traveling overland because of roadblocks and strikes, I wouldn't have even noticed there was something going on had I not gone to the very centre of the city where the protesters were throwing stones at the armed forces who in turn used tear gas to try to calm down the protesters.

Of course at a time when the unrest is caused by foreign interests (ie. US/international companies wanting to invest in previously public companies such as gas or water companies) it's not always safe to walk around looking like a gringo. I never had any problems but there was an incident involving a European guy who was beaten by the protesters for being American.

I personally would wait a little before going to Bolivia, but on the other hand don't see it as too dangerous to go either.

10. Posted by solveig (Full Member 53 posts) 11y

Anybody knows the current situation in Bolivia??? Are there still
road blockages? We are just about to leave here from Aso Paulo to
Peru by car and if possible would like to pass Bolivia either on the way there or on the way back?