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Demonstration Alert: Political Transition and Potential Demonstrations in Guatemala on January 14, 2024
6 MINUTE READ
January 12, 2024

Location:  Guatemala City

Event:  The Guatemalan Presidential inauguration is scheduled for Sunday, January 14. U.S. Citizens in Guatemala are advised that demonstrations and sporadic acts of violence are possible during this time. While past demonstrations in Guatemala have generally been peaceful and not targeted at tourists or foreigners, it is important to note that even peaceful gatherings can escalate suddenly. The U.S. Embassy recommends steering clear of areas where demonstrations are occurring. If demonstrations were to occur, this may prevent your ability to travel throughout Guatemala, and you may need to postpone in-country travel. If you choose to travel in the country, you can consult the government of Guatemala’s PROVIAL website (Dirección General de Protección y Seguridad Vial) for up-to-date information about locations of roadblocks.

Please be advised that inaugural events and planned public festivities may cause disruptions to traffic in the coming days.  Please exercise caution, as it may not be readily apparent whether people are demonstrating or celebrating. Stay informed and plan your routes accordingly.

U.S. citizens are reminded that unforeseen changes to travel plans, such as cancellations, delays, or alterations, may occur due to ongoing political demonstrations, weather-related events, security issues, or health concerns. Keep yourself updated on local news and embassy communications for real-time information on any developments, road closures, or disturbances that may affect your plans.

The timing, size, and duration of demonstrations, roadblocks, and/or celebrations can change. Demonstrations can grow quickly in size and often move from one location to another, thus potentially disrupting movement. The Embassy recommends that U.S. citizens be aware and vigilant, avoiding protests, demonstrations, and roadblocks, when possible.

Deciding whether to travel to or depart Guatemala is a personal decision. The U.S. Embassy continually assesses travel conditions in Guatemala and regularly updates our travel advisories and safety information for U.S. citizen travelers. For entry and exit, safety and security, and other relevant travel information about Guatemala, please go here. The Guatemala Travel Advisory is located here. The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) also maintains a country security report on Guatemala here. The U.S. Embassy is not otherwise permitted to advise individuals whether to travel to Guatemala or to provide individualized risk assessments.

Please be advised that in an emergency, U.S. Embassy personnel are not first responders. If you need emergency assistance, Guatemala has a dedicated tourism assistance program (called PROATUR) whose sole mission is to assist and protect foreign tourists in Guatemala. Their emergency assistance call center – staffed with Spanish and English speakers – may be contacted 24/7 by calling 1500 from a Guatemalan phone number or (502) 2290-2810.  You may also contact PROATUR by WhatsApp at +502-5188-1819.

The U.S. Embassy will be closed on Monday, January 15, 2024, to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We will be open on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, and will resume normal appointments for American Citizens Services.

Actions to Take:

  • Review your personal security plans and remain aware of your surroundings, including local events.
  • Monitor local news for updates.
  • Maintain a high level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security, and follow instructions of local authorities.
  • Avoid affected areas and exercise caution.

Assistance:

U.S. Embassy Guatemala City

Website:  https://gt.usembassy.gov/

Phone: +502 2354-0000

Email:  AmCitsGuatemala@state.gov

State Department – Consular Affairs

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

Guatemala Country Information and Travel Advisory Page

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