Security Alert – U.S. Embassy Guatemala City, Guatemala – (December 5, 2019)

Location: Guatemala City and throughout Guatemala

Event:  Saturday, December 7, 2019, is the annual “Quema del Diablo.”  This traditional event, which marks the beginning of the Christmas Season, is celebrated with the burning of papier mâche figures and fireworks.  The “Quema” begins at 6:00 pm all around the country, in the streets, and will affect traffic in most populated areas throughout Guatemala.

On Sunday, December 8, 2019, at 7:00 pm, the annual Luces Campero event will kick off at Campo Marte in Guatemala City.  Traffic will begin much earlier in the day, with a significant increase when the doors for the event open at 2:00 pm. Thousands of attendees are expected. Please plan routes accordingly to avoid delays and complications. We encourage drivers to avoid the area around Campo Marte due to the crowds and traffic.

Additionally, as we enter the Holiday Season (December through early January), expect an increase throughout the country in instances of individuals driving while intoxicated.  There will also be an increase in fireworks, and evening/weekend traffic.  Please consider using defensive driving skills while navigating throughout Guatemala.        

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 if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.


U.S. Embassy Guatemala City
Tel. (502) 2326-4000

State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

Guatemala Country Information

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