If you are in imminent danger, you should immediately contact local authorities by dialing “123” from any Colombian telephone for police and emergency services anywhere in Colombia.
Please note that the U.S. Embassy does not have law enforcement or legal authority in Colombia. While in Colombia all tourists and residents are under the protection of the Colombian authorities like the National Police, the Attorney General’s Office (“Fiscalía General de la Nación”), Migration Services (“Migración Colombia”). Therefore, any report of violence or threatening behavior must be handled by the Colombian police and legal system.
Being the victim of a crime in a foreign country can be a devastating and traumatic experience. While no one can undo the emotional trauma, physical injury, or financial loss you may have experienced, the U.S. Embassy in Bogota and U.S. Consular Agency in Barranquilla can help:
- Replace a lost or stolen passport.
- Contact family, friends, and/or employers for assistance. We require written permission in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974. Click here.
- Provide information on medical facilities, click here. (hospitals page)
- Provide financial assistance options, click here. (financial assistance page)
- Share information about the status of your case in the local criminal justice system, when applicable.
- Connect you to U.S.-based resources for victims of crime, click here.
- Provide a list of lawyers in Colombia, click here. (lawyer’s page)
- Act as law enforcement or investigate crimes.
- File a report with local authorities on your behalf.
- Provide legal advice or legal representation.
- Serve as official interpreters or translators.
- Pay legal, medical, or other expenses.
The guidance included on this webpage related to the legal requirements in Colombia is provided for general information purposes only. The information may not be relevant to a particular case and is subject to change. Questions involving interpretation of Colombian laws should be addressed to legal counsel licensed to practice law in Colombia. The investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of Colombian authorities.
You can notify U.S. Embassy Bogota/U.S. Consular Agency Barranquilla of a crime committed against a U.S. citizen through our email address ACSBOGOTA@STATE.GOV .
A crime should be reported to the appropriate Colombian authorities as soon as possible. A police report is known as a “denuncia”.
For crimes such as theft, scams, forgery of public or private documents, cybercrime, extortion, gender-based violence and child exploitation you can file a report through the online system “ADenunciar”, click here.
The virtual system will take 24 hours to verify the information. This website is in Spanish only. We highly advise you to file the report through this website before you leave the country. If you are unable to file a report on the website, you will have to do so in person.
For all other crimes, or if you require immediate assistance, you can file the report in person at the nearest “Unidad de Reacción Inmediata (URI)” (Attorney General’s Office location). Please note that while you may be able to file a report at a police station, it will not have the same validity for legal procedures. You should file the report in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred, if possible. Be sure to receive a copy of the report before departing Colombia.
Colombian authorities’ offices seldomly have English-speaking staff. We recommend that victims of crime who do not speak Spanish go with someone who does.
For information on “URI” locations throughout Colombia, click here.
- Click on “Directorio Fiscalía”.
- Choose a “Departamento” (equivalent to a state).
- Choose a “Municipio” (equivalent to a city).
- On “Servicio” choose “Recepción de Denuncias” (File a report).
- On “Entidad” choose “Fiscalía” (Attorney General’s Office).
- The map will show where you can go to file a report.
You may need a police report to file for crime victim compensation or insurance reimbursement in the U.S. if applicable. Information about each state’s compensation program and how to apply for benefits is available from the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards, click here.
A suspected kidnapping or hostage-taking should be reported to the Grupos de Acción Unificada por la Libertad Personal (GAULA) and immediately reported the U.S. Embassy Bogota by calling +57-601-275-2000 during business hours or +57-601-275-4021 outside of business hours.
Dirección Antisecuestro y Antiextorsión de la Policía Nacional (DIASE)
Toll-free number within Colombia: 165 or 147
For further information you can visit the Police website, click here.
Upon the request of the Colombian government, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) may assist local authorities in certain cases of kidnapping, hostage-taking and terrorism.
Special Information for cases of domestic violence
For domestic violence, child abuse or sexual assault, you can call 123, Colombian National Police, file a report with “Fiscalía General de la Nación” (Attorney General’s Office), or contact “Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF)” (provider of social services to families and children).
The ICBF is the entity of the Colombian state that works for the prevention and integral protection of early childhood, childhood, adolescence, and the well-being of families in Colombia, giving special attention to those in conditions of threat, non-observance or violation of their rights.
ICBF has a 24/7 Toll free number within Colombia: 01-8000-918-080, or you can visit their website for other communication channels, click here. This website is in Spanish only.
For specific information on how to report sexual assault please click here. This website is in Spanish only.
For violence against women, the Colombian government offers the program “Linea Purpura”, 24/7 Toll free number within Colombia: 01-8000-112-137 or visit their website, click here. This website is in Spanish only.
As a crime victim, you can hire a local lawyer for legal advice as legal proceedings in Colombia differ from those in the United States. For a list of local attorneys, click here.