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State of Prevention, Increased Military and Police Presence
February 14, 2020

Message for U.S. CitizensSecurity Alert – U.S. Embassy Guatemala City, Guatemala

Location:  Six Municipalities in the Department of Escuintla

Event: State of Prevention, Increased Military and Police Presence

The Government of Guatemala has announced a State of Prevention for the Municipalities of Escuintla, Nueva Concepción, Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa, Tiquisate, Puerto San José and Palín, all located in the Department of Escuintla.  The State of Prevention is due to the ongoing security situation in the previously mentioned cities where there is significant gang activity and other violent crime.  The State of Prevention is expected to last for six days, and there will be an increased military and police presence in this area to conduct search warrants and arrest operations.

Effective immediately, U.S. Embassy official and personal travel to these six municipalities of Escuintla will only be authorized on a case-by-case basis throughout the State of Prevention period The restricted municipalities fall along major travel routes (e.g. CA-9 S and CA-2 SW) to non-restricted destinations.  Travel along the routes through Escuintla will still be permitted; however, U.S. Embassy personnel are advised to not stop in any of the restricted municipalities while transiting to other destinations.

Please be aware that there will likely be official police check points along CA-9 and CA-2 and other routes leading to / from Escuintla.  Embassy operations are normal. 

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 areas of demonstrations, 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
Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security update
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