The United States Embassy issued a travel warning to U.S. citizens about violent crime in Colombia, and more specifically Bogota.
The emergency message for U.S. nationals specified the affluent Zona Rosa, Zona T, and Parque 93 areas in northern Bogota as particularly susceptible to violent crime. According to the warning, many of these crimes occur between 11PM and 3AM.
The statement confirmed the violent attack of an embassy employee who was stabbed by three Colombians around the intersection of Calle 85 and Carerra 10. While the employee did not sustain life threatening injuries, the embassy would like to remind U.S. citizens about the “willingness of criminals to utilize violence to perpetrate their crimes.”
In a separate incident, several embassy workers were the victims of robbery after they were drugged with scopolamine, a toxin used notably in Colombia.
The embassy recommended that U.S. citizens follow the restrictions of embassy employees to decrease their risk of violent crime. This includes frequenting the “Galerias” District and the “Plaza de las Americas” District, which are off limits to embassy employees.
The warning also recommends that U.S. nationals avoid displaying valuables such as cell phones and ipods and also not to repeatedly attend well know ex-pat establishments. Sitting in sidewalk-adjacent exterior dining areas of cafes and restaurants should also be avoided. It maintains the warning not to hail taxis from the street, but rather to call a cab or request a taxi from a hotel.
To receive updates from the U.S. Embassy and Department of State about travel warnings in Colombia, register at https://travelregistration.