Current Travel Warnings

Current Travel Warnings

Worth checking out for those considering international travel is the U.S. Department of State’s Current Travel Warnings page, where conditions in (at this writing) 35 countries on the clickable by-country warnings list are detailed. Even our neighbor Mexico, for example, now so much a part of our life in the U.S and so highly esteemed as a vacay destination, is cited in warnings for dangers posed by its Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs). “U.S. citizens have fallen victim to criminal activity, including homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking and highway robbery. While most of those killed in narcotics-related violence have been members of TCOs, innocent persons have also been killed. The number of U.S. citizens reported to the Department of State as murdered in Mexico was 113 in 2011 and 71 in 2012.” The site goes on to detail how the dangers vary in state by state, including 12 of those states where “no advisory is in effect.”

Fortunately for U.S. travelers, only five of the 35 “warnings” countries –Mexico, Honduras, Columbia, El Salvador and Haiti – are in the Western Hemisphere. In addition to murders of U.S. citizens. A few out-takes from the State Department’s perspective on these countries include:

Columbia: “Terrorist groups and other criminal organizations continue to kidnap and hold civilians, including foreigners, for ransom or as political bargaining chips…Explosions occur throughout Colombia on a regular basis, including some in Bogota itself. Small towns and rural areas of Colombia can still be extremely dangerous due to the presence of terrorists and narco-traffickers…”

El Salvador: “In 2011, El Salvador had the second highest murder rate in the world…Armed robberies of climbers and hikers in El Salvador’s national parks are common.”

Haiti: “…presence of cholera…U.S. citizens have been victims of violent crime, including murder and kidnapping, predominantly in the Port-au-Prince area. In recent months, travelers arriving in Port-au-Prince on flights from the United States were attacked and robbed shortly after departing the airport.”

HONDURAS: “Crime and violence levels in Honduras remain critically high…police may take hours to arrive at the scene of a violent crime or not respond at all. The police often lack vehicles or fuel to respond to calls for assistance. As a result, criminals operate with a high degree of impunity throughout Honduras.”


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