Recent Security Incidents in Colombia

The U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens to be vigilant following a number of security incidents throughout Colombia over the past few weeks.

On February 19, an explosion at Carrera 5 and Calle 27 (near the Plaza de Toros) in Bogotá injured over 30 police officers and civilians.  On February 10 and 18, there were explosions in a restaurant in the Galerias neighborhood of Bogotá (Calle 49 with Carrera 17).  The Colombian National Police has not attributed responsibility for these attacks to any group.

Additionally, there has been increased criminal and ELN activity in Norte de Santander province, as well as around Villavicencio, and there are several ELN anniversaries this week that have historically coincided with ELN violence.

Remain vigilant, especially when around police or other Colombian government facilities.  Expect increased police checkpoints in Bogotá and along roads leading in and out of Bogotá.

U.S. government officials and their families in Colombia normally are permitted to travel to major cities only by air.  They may not 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 Bogotá and Bucaramanga, and between Bogotá and Ibague.
  • Highways between Manizales, Pereira, and Armenia and within the “coffee country” departments of Caldas, Risaralda, and Quindío.
  • Highway 90 from Cartagena, through Barranquilla to Santa Marta.

All other travel by U.S. government personnel and their families requires a security review and specific authorization.

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Colombia Country Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Colombia, located at Carrera 45, # 24B-27, Bogotá, D.C., by email at or by telephone at +571-1 275-2000, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 m. Monday through Friday.  Non-emergency services are offered by appointment.  After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +571-1 275-4021.
  • The Embassy operates a Consular Agency in Barranquilla, Colombia which also provides assistance to U.S. citizens. The Barranquilla Consular Agency is located at Calle 77B No. 57-141, suite 511, tel. (575) 353-2001.  Hours are 8:00 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday.  You can schedule a non-emergency service by calling the Consular Agency.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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