US Embassy in Bogotá issues security advisory to citizens

US Embassy issued recommendations after terrorist attacks in Cauca. Photo: Ejercito Nacional.

The US Embassy in Bogotá has issued a security advisory to citizens relating to the presence of terrorist organizations and transnational criminal organizations in the country.

According to the statement, the Embassy recommends visitors to Colombia “be alert to the possibility of insurgents carrying out attacks anywhere and at any time with little or no warning.” The statement adds that US nationals “must remain vigilant, maintain a heightened awareness of the situation, and incorporate strong personal security practices in their daily activities”.

Included in the recommendations are recent security incidents involving organized crime groups, among them FARC dissidents and Gulf Clan.

  • On August 11, an improvised explosive device was discovered at Camilo Daza International Airport in Cúcuta, Norte de Santander. The device was controlled and detonated by security officials, and no injuries were reported.
  • On August 9, the Director General of the National Police reported that the Colombian Police are on “maximum alert” due to possible actions by members of a terrorist organization, following recent coercive actions by security forces against the group.
  • On August 2, a Colombian National Police officer was killed at close range by suspected members of a terrorist organization in Neiva. It is believed that the murder is part of a selective assassination campaign carried out by a terrorist group against the Colombian National Police.

Three recent incidents involving explosives occurred in the urban area of Cali:

  1. On July 29, a grenade was thrown at a substation in the Alfonso Bonilla district, resulting in the death of a police canine.
  2. On July 30, a grenade was thrown at a substation in the Mojica district, fortunately, the grenade did not explode.
  3. On August 5, a grenade was thrown at a substation in the Charco Azul district, causing material damage.

The Embassy concludes by stating that it will keep “the community informed about new developments of interest.”

The recommendations to both residents and visiting nationals comes as President Petro is hosting a Security Council in the capital of Cauca, Popayán, and pledged an additional 600 members of the army to the department given attacks over the weekend by FARC dissidents that have claimed the lives of five persons, including three police officers in the municipality of Morales. The department of Cauca is enduring its worst security crisis in over two decades.