September 25, 2021

News

News Network

Colombia Travel Advisory

18 min read

Do not travel to Colombia due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in Colombia due to crime, terrorism and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.  

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan 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.   

Travelers to Colombia may experience border closures, airport closures, travel prohibitions, stay at home orders, business closures, and other emergency conditions within Colombia due to COVID-19. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page  for more information on COVID-19 in Colombia. 

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.

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 cannot travel freely throughout Colombia for security reasons.

Read the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Colombia:

Arauca, Cauca, Chocó, Nariño and Norte de Santander Departments – Do Not Travel

Violent crime, including armed robbery and homicide is widespread. 

Terrorists 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 without permission from the Embassy’s Regional Security Office. When permitted, U.S. government personnel must travel to the cities of Popayan (capital of Cauca) and Nuqui (capital of Chocó) by air.

Visit our 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. 

Terrorists 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 without permission from the Embassy’s Regional Security Office.

U.S. government officials and their families are generally permitted to travel to the major cities of Valledupar, Monteria, Cali, and Palmira by air.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Travel Restrictions for U.S. Government Personnel

U.S. government personnel must request advance permission for any travel outside of Bogota and the Atlantic Coast corridor from Cartagena to Santa Marta, and sometimes are required to travel in armored vehicles or carry personnel trackers. U.S. government officials and their families are generally permitted to travel to major cities only by air. They cannot use inter- or intra-city bus transportation or travel by road outside urban areas at night. During daylight, they are permitted to use only the following routes:

  • Main highways between Bogota and Bucaramanga, and between Bogota and Ibague.
  • Highways between Manizales, Pereira, and Armenia and within the “coffee country” provinces of Caldas, Risaralda, and Quindío.
  • Highway 90 from Cartagena, through Barranquilla to Santa Marta.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information. 

News Network

  • How We ReImagined HHS
    In Human Health, Resources and Services
    On October 1, 2020, I [Read More…]
  • 2020 END Wildlife Trafficking Report
    In Climate - Environment - Conservation
    Bureau of Oceans and [Read More…]
  • Statement by Attorney General William P. Barr on Mexico’s Proposed Legislation
    In Crime News
    Attorney General William P. Barr gave the following statement in response to Mexico's proposed legislation:
    [Read More…]
  • Joint Statement on the Ministerial Meeting on Syria
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Secretary Blinken’s Call with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Seeks to Shut Down Georgia Return Preparer
    In Crime News
    The United States has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Macon Division, seeking to bar an Irwinton, Georgia, tax return preparer from preparing tax returns for others.
    [Read More…]
  • Nepal Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Reconsider travel [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong, and Republic of Korea Defense Minister Suh Wook at a Joint Press Availability
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Four Individuals Plead Guilty to RICO Conspiracy Involving “Bulletproof Hosting” for Cybercriminals
    In Crime News
    Four Eastern European nationals have pleaded guilty to conspiring to engage in a Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) arising from their providing “bulletproof hosting” services between 2008 and 2015, which were used by cybercriminals to distribute malware and attack financial institutions and victims throughout the United States.
    [Read More…]
  • International Money Launderer Sentenced to More Than 11 Years in Prison for Laundering Millions of Dollars in Cyber Crime Schemes
    In Crime News
    A dual Canadian and U.S. national was sentenced today to 140 months in federal prison for conspiring to launder tens of millions of dollars stolen in various wire and bank fraud schemes – including a massive online banking theft by North Korean cyber criminals.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken with Juan Carlos Lopez of CNN en Espanol
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Woman admits to tax fraud on behalf of herself and many others
    In Justice News
    A Texas tax preparer has [Read More…]
  • Secretary Michael R. Pompeo And Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
  • Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Foreign Minister Mahuta 
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Bank Supervision: FDIC Could Better Address Regulatory Capture Risks
    In U.S GAO News
    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has designed policies to address the risk of regulatory capture by reducing the potential benefit to industry of capturing the examination process, reducing avenues of inducement, and promoting a culture of independence and public service (see figure). Framework for Reducing Risk and Minimizing Consequences of Regulatory Capture FDIC has several policies for documenting bank examination decisions that help promote transparent decision-making and assign responsibility for decisions. Such policies are likely to help reduce benefits to industry of capturing the examination process. However, GAO found that some examinations were not implemented consistent with FDIC policies and that gaps in FDIC policies limited their effectiveness. For example, GAO found that managers sometimes did not clearly document how they concluded that banks had addressed recommendations. By improving adherence to agency policies, FDIC management could better address threats to capture in the examination process. GAO found that FDIC has policies to address potential conflicts of interest that could help block or reduce avenues of inducement. For example, FDIC has post-employment conflict-of-interest policies designed to prevent former employees from exerting undue influence on FDIC and to reduce industry's ability to induce current FDIC employees with prospective employment arrangements. One such policy requires the agency to review the workpapers of examiners-in-charge who accept employment with banks they examined in the prior 18 months. However, FDIC has not fully implemented a process for identifying when to review the workpapers of departing examiners to assess whether independence has been compromised. In particular, FDIC does not have a process for collecting information about departing employees' future employment. By revising its examiner-departure processes, the agency could better identify when to initiate workpaper reviews. FDIC has identified regulatory capture as a risk as part of its enterprise risk management process. The agency has documented 11 mitigation strategies that could help address that risk. Identified mitigation strategies include rotating examiners-in-charge, national examination training, and ethics requirements. FDIC supervises about 3,300 financial institutions to evaluate their safety and soundness. Some analyses by academic researchers have identified regulatory capture in supervision as one potential factor contributing to the 2007–2009 financial crisis. Regulatory capture is defined as a regulator acting in the interest of the regulated industry rather than in the public interest. GAO was asked to review regulatory capture in financial regulation. This report examines FDIC's (1) processes for encouraging transparency and accountability in the bank examination process, (2) processes to minimize potential conflicts of interest among examination staff, and (3) agency-wide efforts to address the risks of regulatory capture and compromised independence. GAO reviewed FDIC's policies and enterprise risk management framework, analyzed bank examination workpapers, and interviewed supervisory staff. GAO is making four recommendations to FDIC related to managing the risk of regulatory capture, including improving documentation of banks' progress at addressing FDIC recommendations and revising examiner-departure processes. FDIC neither agreed nor disagreed with these recommendations, but described actions it would take in response to them. FDIC's actions, if fully implemented, would address two of the four recommendations. For more information, contact Michael Clements at (202) 512-8678 or clementsm@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Cuban national charged with ramming FBI security gate
    In Justice News
    A 38-year-old Cuban [Read More…]
  • Readout of Attorney General Merrick B. Garland’s Call with the United Kingdom’s Home Secretary Priti Patel
    In Crime News
    Attorney General Merrick B. Garland spoke by phone yesterday with Priti Patel, the United Kingdom’s Home Secretary. In this inaugural conversation, the Attorney General and Home Secretary reaffirmed their shared commitment to deepening cooperation on countering common threats, including those posed by international terrorism.
    [Read More…]
  • Military Vehicles: Army and Marine Corps Should Take Additional Actions to Mitigate and Prevent Training Accidents
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found The number of serious accidents involving Army and Marine Corps tactical vehicles, such as tanks and trucks, and the number of resulting deaths, fluctuated from fiscal years 2010 through 2019 (see figure). Driver inattentiveness, lapses in supervision, and lack of training were among the most common causes of these accidents, according to GAO analysis of Army and Marine Corps data. Number of Army and Marine Corps Class A and B Tactical Vehicle Accidents and Resulting Military Deaths, Fiscal Years 2010 through 2019 Note: Class A and B accidents have the most serious injuries and financial costs. The Army and Marine Corps established practices to mitigate and prevent tactical vehicle accidents, but units did not consistently implement these practices. GAO found that issues affecting vehicle commanders and unit safety officers hindered Army and Marine Corps efforts to implement risk management practices. For example, the Army and Marine Corps had not clearly defined the roles or put procedures and mechanisms in place for first-line supervisors, such as vehicle commanders, to effectively perform their role. As a result, implementation of risk management practices, such as following speed limits and using seat belts, was ad hoc among units. The Army and Marine Corps provide training for drivers of tactical vehicles that can include formal instruction, unit licensing, and follow-on training, but their respective programs to build driver skills and experience had gaps. GAO found that factors, such as vehicle type and unit priorities, affected the amount of training that vehicle drivers received. Further, licensing classes were often condensed into shorter periods of time than planned with limited drive time, and unit training focused on other priorities rather than driving, according to the units that GAO interviewed. The Army and Marine Corps have taken steps to improve their driver training programs, but have not developed a well-defined process with performance criteria and measurable standards to train their tactical vehicle drivers from basic qualifications to proficiency in diverse driving conditions, such as driving at night or over varied terrain. Developing performance criteria and measurable standards for training would better assure that Army and Marine Corps drivers have the skills to operate tactical vehicles safely and effectively. Why GAO Did This Study Tactical vehicles are used to train military personnel and to achieve a variety of missions. Both the Army and Marine Corps have experienced tactical vehicle accidents that resulted in deaths of military personnel during non-combat scenarios. GAO was asked to review issues related to the Army's and Marine Corps' use of tactical vehicles. Among other things, this report examines (1) trends from fiscal years 2010 through 2019 in reported Army and Marine Corps tactical vehicle accidents, deaths, and reported causes; and evaluates the extent to which the Army and Marine Corps have (2) taken steps to mitigate and prevent accidents during tactical vehicle operations; and (3) provided personnel with training to build the skills and experience needed to drive tactical vehicles. GAO analyzed accident data from fiscal years 2010 through 2019 (the most recent full year of data at the time of analysis); reviewed documents; and interviewed officials from a non-generalizable sample of units and training ranges selected based on factors, such as locations where accidents occurred.
    [Read More…]
  • Farmworkers: Additional Information Needed to Better Protect Workers from Pesticide Exposure
    In U.S GAO News
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and states ensure compliance with the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) primarily through inspections of farms. The states collect some information—such as the number of inspections they conduct—and provide that information to EPA as part of cooperative agreements between EPA and the states. The extent of use of the designated representative provision of the WPS, and its effect on the availability of pesticide information, are not known because EPA does not collect information on the use of the provision and does not coordinate with states to do so. EPA's guidance to states for conducting inspections encourages, but does not require, state inspectors to ask farmers and farmworkers about whether a designated representative has been used. EPA officials said that the agency has not asked states to collect information on the provision because the agency has focused on compliance with other aspects of the WPS. By coordinating with states, through the cooperative agreements or some another mechanism, to collect information on the use of the designated representative provision, EPA would be better positioned to determine whether the provision is serving its intended purpose. Some stakeholders have raised concerns about potential misuse of pesticide information, such as other farmers using the information obtained by a designated representative to gain a competitive advantage. However, EPA officials, state officials, and stakeholders told us they did not know of any instance in which a person serving as a designated representative misused the pesticide information obtained from farmers. Neither EPA's guidance nor its website explain the agency's expectations for appropriate use or describe how such information could be misused. EPA officials said that the agency has not explained what constitutes misuse. By explaining, in the agency's guidance, on its website, or through another mechanism, EPA's expectations about appropriate use of pesticide information obtained by designated representatives, including the misuse of such information, the agency could ensure designated representatives understand the importance of the information in reducing the consequences of pesticide exposure. Farmworkers Picking Strawberries at a Farm The use of pesticides contributes to U.S. agricultural productivity by protecting crops against pests or weeds, but this use may pose risks to human health. To reduce the consequences of pesticide exposure to farmworkers' health, EPA revised the WPS in 2015 to include a provision that allows a farmworker to identify a person who can request, for their benefit, certain pesticide information from their employer—this is called the designated representative provision. This report examines (1) what is known about the extent of use and effect of the designated representative provision on the availability of pesticide information and (2) what is known about any misuse of information obtained through the provision. GAO reviewed laws, regulations, and guidance, and interviewed officials from EPA and 13 selected states about how they implement and oversee compliance with the standard. GAO also interviewed stakeholders, such as farmer groups and farmworker advocacy groups. GAO is making two recommendations to EPA to (1) coordinate with states to collect information on the use of the designated representative provision and (2) take steps to explain, in guidance, on its website, or through another mechanism, the agency's expectations about appropriate use of pesticide information obtained by a designated representative and describe potential misuse of such information. EPA agreed, in part, to both recommendations. For more information, contact Steve D. Morris at (202) 512-3841 or morriss@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Blinken’s Call with Brazilian Foreign Minister Araujo
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]

You may have missed

Network News © 2005 Area.Control.Network™ All rights reserved.