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Travel Warnings!

The U.S. Department of State issued updated travel warnings to three destinations with more information, two upgraded to the Level 3: Reconsider Travel warning level and the other upgraded to the Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution warning level.

The first destination to be recently updated was Chile, on May 8. The warning suggests that travelers should be aware that crimes such as thefts and muggings are on the rise, and that civil unrest, including demonstrations, occur in its larger cities, such as the country’s capital of Santiago.

Jamaica was the second destination with updated warnings, reissuing a Level 3: Reconsider Travel warning on May 10. The State Department says that the extremely popular destination has a strong crime presence with a lack of proper response by law enforcement.

“Violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, are common. Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts…The homicide rate reported by the Government of Jamaica has for several years been among the highest in the Western Hemisphere,” says the warning.

The page also has an updated list of places that U.S. government personnel are prohibited from visiting due to the risk of crime, which regular travelers should also follow.

Colombia was the last to be updated. The State Department reissued a Level 3: Reconsider Travel warning on May 11 for the country due to crime and terrorism, as well as an increased risk of kidnapping. In addition to reconsidering travel to the country, the government warns against all travel to the regions of Arauca, Cauca (Popayán), Norte de Santander and the Colombia-Venezuela border.

The warning also explains the threat of terrorism in Colombia: “The National Liberation Army (ELN), Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People’s Army (FARC-EP), and Segunda Marquetalia terrorist organizations, as well as the Clan del Golfo and other criminal organizations, continue operating and carrying out attacks in Colombia,” it says. “They may attack with little or no warning, targeting transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, police stations, military facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, airports and other public areas. While terrorists have not specifically targeted private U.S. citizens, the attacks could result in unintended victims.”

While these destinations aren’t currently forbidden for Americans to visit, it is important to consider the risks of any destination you visit. The U.S. Department of State is the first resource travelers should use to learn about a country’s potential risks.

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