miércoles, marzo 31, 2010

WARNING American Citizen Services

This Warden Message informs U.S. citizens traveling to and residing in Venezuela of the ongoing security concerns on the Caracas-La Guaira highway, en route to the Caracas Maiquetia International Airport. This highway is known to be particularly dangerous, and highway robberies occur at any time of the day and at any place along the highway. The general modus operandi of the criminals is to cause a roadblock with either trash and debris or vehicles, particularly at chokepoints at the tunnels on the highway. Once traffic has stopped, travelers are robbed and/or carjacked, often at gunpoint. There are also credible reports of arriving travelers being targeted in the airport, to be later robbed along the highway en route to Caracas.

For this reason, the U.S. Embassy strongly advises all travelers to travel during daylight hours and make advance plans for transportation from the airport to their place of lodging. The Embassy's Security office has advised Embassy personnel to use armored vehicles when traveling in the mentioned areas. Travelers may want to consider contacting a transportation service that uses armored vehicles when traveling to and from the airport. A non-inclusive list of transportation services can be found on the U.S. Embassy’s web site, although the Embassy cannot recommend nor endorse any particular transportation company. More information on the Safety and Security conditions in Venezuela can be found in the Country Specific Information consular sheet.

U.S. citizens are requested to report any criminal incidents to the American Citizen Services Unit at acsvenezuela@state.gov.

U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Department of State's, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website www.travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found. The U.S. Embassy also encourages U.S. citizens to review "A Safe Trip Abroad," found at http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/safety/safety_1747.html which includes valuable security information for those both living and traveling abroad. In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or outside the United States and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.

The U.S. Embassy in Caracas is located on Calle F con Calle Suapure, Lomas de Valle Arriba. The telephone number during business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) is (011) 58-212-975-6411. For after-hours emergencies use (011) 58-212-907-8400. The fax is (011) 58-212-907-8199. Please check the Embassy website for additional information at http://caracas.usembassy.gov.