Monthly Travel Safety Report

Travel Safety – Travel Summary July 2019

Welcome to July

Ares Risk Management is here to help and support the travelling business community, keep you and your personnel safe while travelling – especially if your business takes you to some of the worlds at risk, crisis or conflict zones.

Before our Travel Trends & Risk Report, we’d like to remind you that when travelling abroad, even to countries which are considered “safe”, we live in a dangerous world. While conflict or terror attacks might not be prevalent in the country or city you are visiting, all countries and cities suffer from varying levels of crime. Be aware of the types of crime you might encounter.

We would also like to remind you that the weather may cause disruption to your travel plans. We also advise that you consider health issues and ensure that you are immunised (if need be) prior to travelling.

It is also worth noting that some over the counter and prescription medications which a legal and freely accessible in the UK and Europe might be considered contraband in other countries so please be sure that you are aware of the issues you may face when travelling abroad!

If you are travelling at any time this year and would like a more detailed country and regional risk assessment before deciding whether you need the services of an International Executive Close Protection Team or not, please do not hesitate to contact us at: Ares Risk Management.


~ SETTING THE SCENE FOR JULY  ~

  • In June, Iran-U.S. tensions continued to climb, raising the risk of a military conflagration.
  • Yemen’s Huthi forces, seen as Iran-backed, increased the pace of strikes in Saudi Arabia, which in turn stepped up bombing in Yemen.
  • Attacks on U.S. assets in Iraq multiplied, and protests erupted in the south.
  • High-level assassinations rocked Ethiopia.
  • Sudan’s security forces reportedly killed over 120 protesters.
  • Major ethnic violence hit the northeast, DR Congo.
  • Mali’s centre and could escalate in both places.
  • In Cameroon, violence raged in Anglophone areas and Boko Haram upped attacks.
  • Political tensions rose in Guinea, Malawi and Tunisia.
  • Algeria could enter a constitutional void in July, possibly inflaming protests and repression.
  • In both Honduras and Haiti, anti-government protests turned deadly.
  • In the Caucasus, killings in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone pushed up tensions.
  • in Georgia anti-Russian sentiment fuelled major protests.
  • Widespread repression marred Kazakhstan’s elections.
  • In a positive step, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Trump agreed to restart talks on denuclearisation.

GAMBIA
Windstorms
On 19th June 2019, a windstorm surge hit through five (5) regions in the Upper River Region (URR) namely; Jimara, Tumanna, Wuli East, Wuli West and Sandu districts as well as two districts of Central River Region (CRR) namely Upper Fulado East, Upper Fulado West and Niani, of Gambia, affecting 67 communities.
YEMEN
Flash Floods
Torrential rain and flash flooding in recent weeks, culminating in widespread flooding in the second week of June, has affected thousands of families across Yemen. It is estimated that rains and floods have affected close to 70,000 people, including internally displaced people, in over 10 governorates. The flash floods have left a trail of destruction in their wake, with damage to housing and infrastructure.
SOUTH SUDAN
Floods
The raging floods resulted in substantial destruction of houses, road networks and destroyed the livelihoods of 10,892 households.
SUDAN
Floods
The raging floods resulted in substantial destruction of houses, road networks, and latrines. The full extent of damage to infrastructure has yet to be fully assessed.
UGANDA
Floods & Mudslides
The landslides in Bududa District were triggered by a heavy and continuous downpour of rain. The landslides hit several sub-counties with most affected being Buwali and Bukalasi/Bundesi, Bumayoka and parts of Bubiita in the lower stream being affected by flash floods. The full extent of damage to infrastructure has yet to be fully assessed.
SERBIA
Floods
In the last two weeks of June, the Republic of Serbia was affected by heavy rain and hailstorms. Moravicki, Raski, Sumadijski and Pomoravski districts were affected by floods and flash floods due to the heavy rainfalls. 20 cities and municipalities in the central and western parts of Serbia … were reported to be affected by flash floods and floods as a consequence of the heavy rains. With a change in the weather over the past week, the situation has started to improve.
TAJIKISTAN

Floods & Mudslides

Continuous heavy rains resulted in mudflows and floods countrywide. In total, 10 mid-scale mudflows and floods have occurred throughout Tajikistan; in early to mid-June. The government was quick to react with the evacuation of areas which had been repeatedly hit by mid-level mudslides over a period of days
PAPUA NEW GUINNE Volcanic activity was reported on a basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano1, Manam Volcano (locally known as Manam Motu), in, Madang province, on the northeast coast of the mainland Papua New Guinea. On 29 June 2019, the volcano continues to erupt; emitting volcanic ash up to 4,572 meters (15,000 feet) and dispersing superheated pyroclastic flows to the west and northeast slopes of the volcano. On 28 June 2019, Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Darwin warned about volcanic activity and ash plume that rose up to estimated 50,000 ft (15,200 meters) altitude or flight level 500. The status at this point was 4 out of 5. Over 14,000 people in the vicinity of the Manam Volcano

And in the 2nd eruption On 26 June, the Ulawun volcano in East New began emitting ash plumes up to 20,000 metres. As of July 2nd, over 13,000 people have been evacuated from villages in the region of the Ulawun volcano

Disease Alert

CHOLERA
Nigeria
Cameroon
Ethiopia
Kenya
Tanzania
Zambia
Mpzembique
DENGUE OUTBREAK

Honduras

EBOLA
Democratic Republic of Congo
Uganda
HEMORAGIC FEVER
South Africa
LASSA FEVER

Honduras

MEASLES
Democratic Republic of Congo
South Sudan
POLIO
Afghanistan
Cameroon
Democratic Republic of Congo  Ethiopia
Islamic Republic of Iran
Mozambique
Niger
Nigeria
Pakistan
Papua New Guinea
Somalia
 

2019 Travellers Risk Legend

AFRICA

Africa - Mapping Crisis, Conflict & Risk

High Risk Area ALGERIA
Interim govt and security forces responded to weekly nationwide protests demanding regime change with repression and some concessions; in July country could enter constitutional void when interim president’s term ends possibly triggering more intense protests and repression. Hundreds of thousands continued to protest in major cities each Friday demanding the dismantling of the regime; authorities tried to discourage protests with intimidation including arrests of journalists, civil society and political opposition members.
ANGOLA
Separatist militants in Angola’s Cabinda exclave announced they would resume their armed struggle. This situation is ongoing and remains unchanged.
BENIN
After disputed elections in Benin, security forces clashed with opposition protesters in the economic capital Cotonou, reportedly leaving at least seven dead. Both the government and opposition hardened their positions, prompting fears that violence could worsen in June.
Escalating Risk from High to Very High BURKINA FASO
Burkina Faso is caught between escalating insurgent violence and widespread social discontent. An Islamist insurrection led by the militant group Ansarul Islam continues to exact a heavy toll on government forces in the country’s north and east. Parts of the North and East of the country have slipped beyond government control.
Escalating Risk from High to Very High CAMEROON
Boko Haram (BH) upped assaults on security forces and civilians in the Far North, violence intensified in Anglophone areas in the west, and authorities continued to repress opposition. In the Far North, Boko Haram launched the deadliest attack since 2016, leaving many soldiers and civilians dead.
CHAD
Violence involving security forces, self-defence groups and jihadist groups Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) and Group to Support Islam and Muslims (JNIM) continued to extract a heavy toll on civilians especially in Sahel, North, Centre-North and East regions.
The DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Ethnic violence erupted in Ituri province in the north east and could escalate in July, insecurity and Ebola epidemic persisted in the east, and opposition protested against constitutional court’s invalidation of over twenty of its legislative victories. In Ituri province in the northeast, longstanding enmity between ethnic Hema and Lendu erupted in clashes early June. The violence is expected to continue.
Moderately High to High Risk EGYPT
Clashes between security forces and Islamic State (ISIS) Sinai Province continued in Sinai and death of former President Morsi in detention sparked accusations of govt responsibility. Tourist destinations continue to be vulnerable to the terrorist threat.
High Risk Area ETHIOPIA
Several high-level killings, which govt described as the attempted coup against Amhara state govt, heightened tensions and triggered police crackdown on Amhara opposition.
High Risk Area GUINEA
Tensions continued to rise between supporters and opponents of the third term for President Condé ahead of 2020 presidential elections.
High Risk Area KENYA
Al-Shabaab continued attacks on security forces in the northeast near Somalia border and Kenya-Somalia tensions remained high over the disputed maritime border. In the northeast, clashes between police reservists and suspected Al-Shabaab militants in Mandera county left a number of people dead.
LYBIA
Fighting continued in and around capital Tripoli between Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) and forces nominally loyal to UN-backed Govt of National Accord (GNA) pushing death toll to over 700 since early April. Both sides relied heavily on airpower and continued to receive military support from regional allies.
Escalating Risk from High to Very High MALI
Ethnic militia carried out large-scale attacks in the centre leaving at least 73 dead and raising risk of reprisals in July, and insecurity persisted in the north. In Bandiagara circle.
Escalating Risk from High to Very High NIGER
Violence continued in the south east near Nigeria and in the west near Mali, and new law empowering authorities to monitor and sanction mosques and preachers sparked localised unrest. In Diffa region in the south-east, deadly attacks and kidnappings continued: Boko Haram (BH) faction Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed abduction and killing of Christians near Bosso.
High Risk Area MOZAMBIQUE
Suspected Islamist militants continued attacks in Cabo Delgado province in the far north. With attacks across the country, over 120 homes have been burnt to the ground, and in total over 700 people killed.
Escalating Risk from High to Very High NIGERIA
Boko Haram (BH) continued attacks in the north east, criminal violence persisted in north-west killing at least 170, and ethnic and herder-farmer violence persisted in the north centre. In the northeast, the military kept up counter-insurgency, notably killing nine members of BH faction Islamic State West Africa Province
High Risk Area SOMALIA
In Somalia, already fraught relations between the federal government in Mogadishu and the regional states soured further, raising the risk of greater political turmoil and insecurity, just as Al-Shabaab ramped up attacks in the capital and rural areas. After talks between President Farmajo and regional leaders collapsed with no agreement on critical issues from the electoral process to resource sharing, two regions suspended cooperation with the centre.
High Risk Area SUDAN
Security forces escalated attacks on protesters in capital Khartoum and surrounding areas early June, reportedly killing over 120, and external efforts to mediate between military leadership and civilian opposition failed to revive talks. The situation continues to be very volatile.
Moderately High to High Risk SOUTH SUDAN
Political unrest and violent resistance to government proposed transition to the Unity Government. Fighting between rebels and government forces have continued throughout May in the south of the country and are expected to continue in June.
Moderately High Risk TUNISIA
Ahead of presidential and legislative elections scheduled for late 2019, tensions heightened as ruling majority tried to bar potential candidates, President Essebsi suffered “health crisis” and two suicide bombings rocked capital Tunis.
Moderately High to High Risk RWANDA & UGANDARelations between Rwanda and Uganda continued to fray. Rwandan soldiers 24 May crossed into Uganda in pursuit of the suspected smugglers and shot dead one Rwandan and one Ugandan. Ugandan authorities 28 May arrested two Rwandans for allegedly entering the country to gather intelligence. The situation continues to deteriorate.
Moderately High Risk GUINEA-BISSAU
In Guinea-Bissau, President Vaz continued to resist pressure from the ruling party to name a new Prime Minister after the March elections and allow the formation of a government. Thousands took to the streets to protest, and there are fears security forces could forcibly suppress further protests, especially around the end of Vaz’s term on 23 June.

Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East & Far East

Mapping Risk, Crisis and conflict across Europe and the Middle East

Tensions between Iran and its allies on one hand and the U.S. and its allies on the other rose to alarming levels in June, raising the risk of more intense political and military confrontation in July. The U.S. blamed explosions on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Iran, which denied responsibility. Fanning the fire, Iran downed a U.S. drone on 20 June off the Iranian coast, which nearly led to U.S. strikes on Iranian soil.

Huthi forces in Yemen, whom Riyadh considers Iranian proxies, stepped up the pace of cross-border attacks into Saudi Arabia. Riyadh, in turn, intensified bombing of Huthi areas in Yemen, especially in the capital Sanaa, risking a further aggravation in July.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, unclaimed attacks on U.S. assets multiplied and protests erupted in the south, with demonstrators demanding more jobs and better services.

High Risk Area UKRAINE
Hostilities continue in the 6-year war between Ukraine and Russia, and it would seem that there continues to be little hope of a peaceful resolution at this time. The situation continues to be tense and with embargos, in place civilian deprivation is high as blockades prevent humanitarian aid from reaching the area.
ARMENIA
With his party’s victory in the snap parliamentary elections and a new calm on the frontlines with Azerbaijan, Armenia’s leader Nikol Pashinyan and his team will have more space to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Advice to visitors against travelling within 5km of the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Tavush and Gegharkunik regions, and along the M16/H26 road between the towns of Ijevan and Noyemberyan, continue to be in place.

Tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh continue. Although there has been no recent history of terror attacks these cannot be ruled out, be aware that protests and demonstrations in the cities are common and you should take care, monitor the media and avoid large crowds and demonstrations.

AZERBAIJAN
Tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh continue. There have been several ceasefire violations along the Line of Contact separating the opposing forces and elsewhere. There is also a heightened risk of random terrorist activity.
LEBANON
The security situation in Lebanon remains unchanged. The region is highly volatile with a high likelihood of terror attacks throughout the country. In addition, there are criminal gangs operating in parts of the Bekka, especially northern Bekka, involved in drug cultivation and smuggling. Recent protests against the UN have turned violent, and there are unexploded ordnance and landmines in many areas. Some area’s significantly more dangerous, such as Palestinian Refugee camps and the border regions with Syria and Hermel Area, including the towns of Arsal, Ras Baalbek, Qaa, Laboué and Nahlé.

The security situation can deteriorate very quickly and conflict with Israel can spark very quickly. Be aware that there has been a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation.

However, the 6 May elections readjusted the political balance but brought no fundamental change. As before, no government can be formed without Hizbollah. To be effective in government the Shiite Islamist movement, as always, will have to reach out to partners that oppose much of its agenda. Hizbollah is not about to take formal control of the next government, however, because that move would put Lebanon at risk of losing crucial foreign support or even becoming a pariah state.

SYRIA
The situation remains extremely volatile and dangerous. High levels of violence persist throughout Syria, including full-scale military operations involving the use of small arms, tanks, artillery and aircraft. A number of chemical weapons attacks have taken place across Syria. Estimates suggest that over 470,000 people have been killed in the Syria conflict, including over 55,000 children.The Syrian regime does not exercise control of significant parts of Syria, notably in the north, south and east of the country. A small area of eastern Syria remains under the effective control of Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL), which is fiercely hostile to the United Kingdom.

Terrorists are highly likely to continue. Past attacks have been across Syria and have left large numbers of people dead or wounded. There is also a high threat of kidnapping of UK and Western nationals. There is NO UK Embassy presence in Syria.

High Risk Area IRAN
For the past year, relations between the U.S. and Iran have brought to mind a slow-motion train wreck. Of late, the pace has dangerously accelerated, and tensions could soon lead to a catastrophic collision and the outbreak of war.
There is a risk that British nationals, and a higher risk that British/Iranian dual nationals, could be arbitrarily detained in Iran.All British nationals should consider carefully the risks of travelling to Iran. The Iranian authorities don’t recognise dual nationality for Iranian citizens. Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Iran. Attacks could happen anywhere, including in places visited by foreigners.

Iran is a Muslim country in which Islamic law is strictly enforced. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend.

Escalating Risk from High to Very High IRAQ
There is a risk of terrorist attacks and kidnap across the country. Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Iraq. There’s also a high kidnap threat. While attacks can take place at any time, there’s a heightened threat during religious or public holidays.Areas liberated from Daesh are likely to contain remnants of war and improvised explosive devices.

The security situation throughout Iraq remains uncertain and could deteriorate quickly, often with very little warning.

High Risk Area ISRAEL / PALESTINE
To a large extent, the current flare-up has its origins in failure to implement fully the ceasefire agreement Israel reached with Hamas. This is part of a recurring problem which in the main continues to affect Gaza, which continues to be a highly volatile area. Protesters have often fired incendiary devices into Israel and led to retaliation by Israeli forces. While neither country wants a new war, they are bogged down in the first steps of the ceasefire which was negotiated in November of last year and unless the stalemate is broken the situation will remain volatile.
Escalating Risk from High to Very High YEMEN
Fighting between Huthi (Ansar Allah) and United Arab Emirates (UAE)-backed forces is intensifying in the southern governorate of al-Dhale. Battles have cut off key transit routes connecting the southern port city of Aden, the Huthi-held capital of Sanaa in the north, and the central governorate of Taiz, which houses important food processing, packaging and distribution facilities.Huthis launched drone strikes on oil pipelines in Saudi Arabia and fighting escalated on several fronts in Yemen. Military escalation and rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran raise the risk of worse fighting in Yemen and more Huthi attacks on Saudi and Emirati assets in coming weeks.

Essentially Yemen is in the grip of a humanitarian catastrophe.

AFGANISTAN
Amidst an intensifying Taliban insurgency and emerging Islamic State threat, Afghanistan’s path to peace and stability looks ever more perilous. Taliban militants now control more territory than at any time since its ouster by a U.S.-led coalition in 2001. The security situation in Afghanistan is highly dangerous and volatile. If you must travel to Afghanistan, travel by road throughout the country, but particularly outside the capital Kabul, is extremely dangerous. Seek professional security advice for all travel and consider using armoured vehicles.

Hotels and guesthouses used by foreign nationals and the government of Afghanistan are subject to regular threats. Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Afghanistan. Specific methods of attack are evolving and increasing in sophistication and focused on targeting foreign nationals.

There is a high threat of kidnapping throughout the country. Recent kidnappings have ended in the murder of those individuals that were kidnapped.

PAKISTAN
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Pakistan. There’s a high threat of terrorism, kidnap and sectarian violence throughout the country, including the cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi. You should be vigilant, avoid all crowds, public events, political gatherings, religious processions and sporting events.Foreigners, in particular westerners, may be directly targeted. Densely populated unsecured areas, such as markets, shopping malls, restaurants and places where westerners and the Pakistani elite are known to congregate, are potential focal points for attacks.
High Risk Area INDIA
In February terrorists carried out car bombings in Kashmir which resulted in 40 deaths, and it is likely that terrorists’ will try to carry out further attacks in India. Recent attacks have targeted public places including those visited by foreigners. There have been recent media reports suggesting Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) may have an interest in attacking targets in India. There may be an increased threat to places visited by British nationals such as religious sites, markets, festival venues and beaches.Visitors to India should avoid protests and large gatherings. Stampedes have occurred during some events with large crowds, including at political rallies and religious gatherings, resulting in deaths and injuries.
BANGLADESH
Acute political polarisation in Bangladesh has caused recurrent violent flare-ups, governance breakdowns, and widened social divisions. Furthermore, an increase in jihadist violence is exacerbating Bangladesh’s problems.Bangladesh has been in a state of turmoil since the run-up to the national elections in December 2018, added to which there has been the ongoing refugee crisis of Rohingya refugees entering the country from Burma.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Bangladesh. The threat extends across the country.

High Risk Area MYANMAR
In Rakhine state, longstanding communal tensions and extreme discrimination by the government against the Rohingya Muslim minority has morphed into a major crisis. Following renewed attacks by a militant group on security targets in northern Rakhine, and a brutal response by the military has driven more than 430,000 Rohingya into neighbouring Bangladesh. In addition to the human catastrophe, this could undermine the political transition and make Myanmar a target for transnational jihadist groups. The peace process with some 21 ethnic armed groups has lost momentum, and a negotiated settlement remains elusive. Resurgent Buddhist nationalism threatens to divide communities and faiths in this multi-ethnic, multi-religious country.
UZBEKISTAN
From 1 February 2019, if you have a British Citizen passport you will be able to enter Uzbekistan as a visitor for stays of up to 30 days without a visa.Air quality in the Karakalpakstan and Khorezm regions has deteriorated as a result of storms over the Aral Sea bringing salt, dust and pollutants into the air.

You can be detained on arrival for the possession of certain medicines, including codeine. You should always carry a doctor’s prescription with you.

Terrorist attacks in Uzbekistan can’t be ruled out and border regions Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan are potential flashpoints. Be aware that borders can be closed with no notice.

KYRGYZSTAN
Terrorist attacks in Kyrgyzstan can’t be ruled out. You should be vigilant in public places and follow security advice from the local authorities.The Kyrgyz/Uzbek and Kyrgyz/Tajik borders are subject to closure without notice. There have been a number of security incidents in the Kyrgyz/Uzbek border region in recent months.

There is a high risk of earthquakes.

TAJIKISTAN
Terrorists are likely to try and carry out attacks in Tajikistan. Tourists have been known to have been targeted for deliberate attack, particularly on hiking and cycling tracks around the countryside, 4 were killed in deliberate targeted attacks in 2018.There are regular clashes between the Taliban and Afghan government forces in north-east Afghanistan close to the border with Tajikistan. This border is also used by drug smugglers who often engage in armed clashes with Tajik security forces.

Tourism, health and transport infrastructure is poor and travel requires careful planning. Avoid off-road areas immediately adjoining the Afghan, Uzbek and Kyrgyz borders, which may be mined.

Escalating Risk from High to Very High NORTH KOREA
The level of tension on the Korean Peninsula is volatile, and tensions escalate during South Koreans-US military exercises; notably, these are conducted in the Spring and Autumn annually. While daily life in the capital city Pyongyang may appear calm, the security situation in North Korea can change with little notice and with no advance warning of possible actions by the North Korean authorities. This poses significant risks to British visitors and residents.
Moderately High Risk SRI LANKA
In Sri Lanka, the fallout from the Easter Sunday terror attacks continued as inter-communal tensions and anti-Muslim violence increased, with hundreds of Muslim businesses, homes and mosques damaged or burned during attacks by Sinhala Buddhist extremist groups.
High Risk Area PAPUA NEW GUINEA There has been significantly increased levels of tribal fighting in the Hela and Southern Highlands provinces, leading to a declaration of states of emergency by the Papua New Guinea government. There has also been heavier than usual tribal fighting in Enga and Western Highlands provinces. If you’re planning to travel to these provinces, you should take greater care than usual and consider enhanced security precautions.Outbreaks of tribal violence may occur with little warning and may escalate very quickly. You should avoid large crowds and public gatherings as they may turn violent.

Monsoon season in Papua New Guinea runs from November to May. The 2019 forecast is for heavy rain and strong winds, with a heightened potential for flooding and landslides.

There is a high level of serious and violent crime. Law and order is poor or very poor in many parts of the country. Pay close attention to your personal security, particularly after dark, and monitor the media for possible new security risks.

Carjacking is an ever-present threat, particularly in Port Moresby and Lae. Lock car doors and keep windows up at all times. If possible travel in convoy or with a security escort after dark.

THE AMERICAS

Escalating Risk from High to Very High VENEZUELA
Venezuela faces a major political, economic and social crisis, with hyperinflation, acute scarcity of food, medicine and other basic goods and one of the world’s highest murder rates. The opposition has been staging widespread protests against the increasingly totalitarian policies enacted by Maduro’s government. Dozens of demonstrators have been killed.
Escalating Risk from High to Very High COLUMBIA
The Colombian government ended peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group, prompting fears of a return to open conflict and more violence along the border with Venezuela and the Pacific Coast.
High Risk Area GUATEMALA
In Guatemala, the government stepped up its attacks on judicial institutions fighting corruption; however political tensions continue.
High Risk Area MEXICO
March saw record levels of violence in spite of the government’s efforts to fight crime. There are currently large numbers of migrants moving en masse from Honduras through Guatemala to Mexico and beyond. This is having an impact on border crossings.There have been a number of reported shooting incidents and other incidents of violence in the main tourist destinations, including in locations popular with tourists. There is currently an increased police presence in the Cancun area, including in the hotel zone. While tourists have not been the target of such incidents, anyone in the vicinity of an incident could be affected.

The security situation can pose a risk for foreigners. Be alert to the existence of street crime as well as more serious violent crime like robbery, assault and vehicle hijacking. In certain parts of Mexico, you should take particular care to avoid being caught up in drug-related violence between criminal groups.

EL SALVADOR
Most visits to El Salvador are trouble-free. However, El Salvador has one of the highest crime rates in Latin America so you should take extra care. Take particular care in downtown San Salvador and on roads outside major towns and cities, especially at night. Avoid wearing expensive jewellery or displaying valuable items. Safeguard your passport, mobile phone and cash against pickpockets.
High Risk Area HAITI
The situation in Haiti remains unchanged. Violent anti-government protests continue to sweep through Haiti, fuelled by anger over deteriorating economic conditions and a scandal involving embezzlement of public funds.
High Risk Area HONDURAS
There’s no British Embassy in Honduras. Consular support may be limited in Honduras, with the exception of Tegucigalpa and the Bay Islands, and severely limited in more remote areas.In Honduras, political tensions flared as protests continued against the government’s planned health and education reforms, leading to violent clashes between protesters and the police. Demonstrations can occur throughout Honduras, often with little or no notice. If you’re travelling in Honduras, you should remain vigilant and avoid all demonstrations. In the event of unrest, have a contingency plan to make changes to your travel plans at short notice, and be aware that airlines sometimes modify their schedules at short notice.
High Risk Area NICARAGUA
You are advised against all but essential travel to Nicaragua, as There has been a prolonged period of political unrest and street violence in many areas in Nicaragua since mid-April 2018. In the early months of the crisis, this involved the use of tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition, resulting in many serious injuries and 300 deaths.Violence and disorder can flair up with no-notice and at any time. It is also against Nicaraguan immigration law for foreigners to involve themselves in local politics, and you may put yourself at risk of arrest if taking part in protests or breaches of the peace. Crime has also risen quite significantly since the protests began.
High Risk Area EQUADOR
The security situation in the province of Esmeraldas can change very quickly. If you’re undertaking essential travel in areas of the province beyond the 20km exclusion zone, you should pay close attention to warnings issued by the Ecuadorean authorities.Although Ecuador doesn’t have a history of terrorism, in 2018 there have been a number of bomb explosions and kidnappings in the northern province of Esmeraldas.

Ecuador is situated in an area of intense seismic activity. There is a high risk of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. You should make sure you are aware of the risks and are familiar with the relevant safety and evacuation procedures.

Cases of armed robbery are increasing and petty crime is common.

High Risk Area PERU
Demonstrations are common in Peru and can turn violent quickly. There may be a higher risk to your safety in areas where there is organised crime and terrorism linked to the production of drugs.There’s risk of robbery by bogus taxi drivers, especially to and from the airports and at bus terminals.

Driving standards are poor. Crashes resulting in death and injury occur frequently.

FRENCH GUIANA
The rainy season in French Guiana, during which tropical storms may occur, takes place between December and July.Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in French Guiana, attacks can’t be ruled out. Crime levels are low, but serious crime does occur.

Till the next time, stay safe and enjoy your summer holidays!

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