Since the Department of State issued an official travel warning on Saturday for Colombia, Travel Agent is recommending all agents stay on top of the latest updates before sending clients to this Latin America destination.
On August 7, the State Department’s website issued a warning, stating “Violence has decreased markedly in many urban areas; however, the level of violence in Buenaventura remains high. Small towns and rural areas of Colombia can still be extremely dangerous due to the presence of narco-terrorists. Common crime remains a significant problem in many urban and rural areas.”
Buenaventura, however, is not known as being one of Colombia’s tourist destinations. In fact, last year Travel Agent was in Cartagena which, unlike Buenaventura, is a major tourist destination and we didn’t encounter any problems. In fact, it was one of the best trips we took all of last year.
As of press time, there was no further news on Saturday’s initial warning but we recommend checking the state’s site as well as www.travelagentcentral.com for any further updates.
According to the warning, “The incidence of kidnapping in Colombia has diminished significantly from its peak at the beginning of this decade. Nevertheless, terrorist groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN), and other criminal organizations continue to kidnap and hold civilians for ransom or as political bargaining chips. No one is immune from kidnapping on the basis of occupation, nationality, or other factors. Kidnapping in rural areas is of particular concern.”
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