Security Alert: Threats on the Colombia-Venezuela Border
Location: Border of Colombia and Venezuela
Event: Dangerous conditions and threat of detention along the Colombian-Venezuelan border
The Embassy advises U.S. citizens of the risk of detention by Maduro regime authorities when crossing from Colombia into Venezuela, and recommends that U.S. citizens not travel to Venezuela. If you still choose to travel to Venezuela, do not attempt to enter Venezuela without a visa.
The U.S. Department of State has categorized Venezuela as Level 4: Do Not Travel due to arrest and detention of U.S. citizens without due process or fair trial guarantees, or as a pretext for an illegitimate purpose; kidnapping; crime; and other factors. U.S. citizens must obtain a visa to enter Venezuela legally. Visas are not available upon arrival. U.S. citizens attempting to enter Venezuela without a visa have been charged with terrorism and other serious crimes and detained for long periods. The Maduro regime does not notify the U.S. government of the detention of U.S. citizens and the U.S. government is not granted access to those citizens. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Venezuela.
On March 11, 2019, the U.S. Department of State announced the withdrawal of diplomatic personnel from U.S. Embassy Caracas. All consular services, routine and emergency, remain suspended until further notice. U.S. citizens in Venezuela who require consular services should try to leave the country as soon and as safely as possible and contact a U.S. embassy or consulate in another country.
In addition, terrorist groups are known to operate in the Colombian departments of Norte de Santander and Arauca, along the Venezuelan border, which the U.S. Department of State has categorized as Level 4: Do Not Travel due to crime, terrorism, and other factors.
U.S. citizens planning travel to the Colombia-Venezuela border area should review the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisories for both Colombia and Venezuela and the Department’s webpage on Travel to High-Risk Areas. Consider drafting a will and designating appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney; discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, funeral wishes, etc.; and share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs if you are unable to return as planned.
Actions to Take: