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Thread: Travel Question-Latin America

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    #1

    Travel Question-Latin America

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    So I'm not sure if this is the right place for this question but I guess I'm "seeking advice" =)

    Does anyone happen to know anything about military members visiting Colombia? I know there are still travel warnings there but I'm not sure if there are any special requirements for military members making private visits there.
    "...so have I chosen, both the sweet and the bitter."
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    #2
    The Foreign Clearance Guide lists the requirements for a member to take leave in Columbia. He should see his command Security Manager who can access that and assist him with that information.





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    #3
    He can request an account to access the FCG through this site: https://www.fcg.pentagon.mil/ but he has to be from a Military computer. He may also have to creat an APACS account to request permission for leave to that country.





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    Super helpful! Thank you!
    "...so have I chosen, both the sweet and the bitter."
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    #5
    I wouldn't. Definitely one of those places I'd wait until they didn't need a clearance.
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    Any particular reason? I'm just curious because I was adopted from Colombia and there is a good possibility, assuming DB and I make it in the long run, that we'd end up going back there to see the country/possibly find my biological family.
    "...so have I chosen, both the sweet and the bitter."
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by rayzgirl View Post
    Any particular reason? I'm just curious because I was adopted from Colombia and there is a good possibility, assuming DB and I make it in the long run, that we'd end up going back there to see the country/possibly find my biological family.
    Because of this (from CIA World Factbook):

    A nearly five-decade long conflict between government forces and anti-government insurgent groups, principally the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) heavily funded by the drug trade, escalated during the 1990s. More than 31,000 former paramilitaries had demobilized by the end of 2006 and the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia as a formal organization had ceased to function. In the wake of the paramilitary demobilization, emerging criminal groups arose, whose members include some former paramilitaries. The insurgents lack the military or popular support necessary to overthrow the government, but continue attacks against civilians. Large areas of the countryside are under guerrilla influence or are contested by security forces.
    I agree with him checking the Foreign Clearance Guide.
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    Oh I'm aware of Colombia's history. It was the most violent country in the world at one point. But, from what I've read, even the State Dept says it has gotten much safer there nowadays and quite a few Americans visit safely. I think the key would be not to venture into remote areas. He would definitely look into it more to know what was required for a visit.
    "...so have I chosen, both the sweet and the bitter."
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    #9
    Depending on his clearance, his command may not approve it.





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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by rayzgirl View Post
    Oh I'm aware of Colombia's history. It was the most violent country in the world at one point. But, from what I've read, even the State Dept says it has gotten much safer there nowadays and quite a few Americans visit safely. I think the key would be not to venture into remote areas. He would definitely look into it more to know what was required for a visit.
    The State Department just reissued a long-term travel warning for Columbia this month.



    Travel Warning
    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
    Bureau of Consular Affairs


    Colombia

    October 11, 2013

    The Department of State has issued this Travel Warning to inform U.S. citizens about the security situation in Colombia.


    Tens of thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit Colombia each year for tourism, business, university studies, and volunteer work. Security in Colombia has improved significantly in recent years, including in tourist and business travel destinations such as Bogota and Cartagena, but violence linked to narco-trafficking continues to affect some rural areas and parts of large cities. This Travel Warning has been reviewed and remains unchanged from the one released on April 11, 2013.


    There have been no reports of U.S. citizens being targeted specifically because of their nationality. While the Embassy possesses no information concerning specific and credible threats against U.S. citizens in Colombia, we strongly encourage you to exercise caution and remain vigilant as terrorist and criminal activities remain a threat throughout the country. Two people were killed and approximately 60 injured by a car bomb during an assassination attempt on the life of a former Interior Minister on May 15, 2012. Explosions occur throughout Colombia on a regular basis, including some in Bogota itself. Small towns and rural areas of Colombia can still be extremely dangerous due to the presence of terrorists and narco-traffickers, including armed criminal gangs (referred to as "BACRIM" in Spanish), that are active throughout much of the country. Violence associated with the BACRIM has spilled over into many of Colombia's major cities. These groups are heavily involved in the drug trade.


    Although the incidence of kidnapping in Colombia has diminished significantly from its peak in 2000, it remains a threat, and is of particular concern in rural areas. Terrorist groups and other criminal organizations continue to kidnap and hold civilians, including foreigners, for ransom or as political bargaining chips. No one is immune from kidnapping on the basis of occupation, nationality, or other factors. The U.S. government places the highest priority on the safe recovery of kidnapped U.S. citizens, but it is U.S. policy not to make concessions to or strike deals with kidnappers. Consequently, the U.S. government's ability to assist kidnapping victims is limited.



    U.S. government officials in Colombia regularly travel to the major cities of Colombia without incident. However, U.S. government officials and their families in Colombia normally are only permitted to travel to major cities by air. They may not use inter- or intra-city bus transportation, or travel by road outside urban areas at night. U.S. government officials and their families in Colombia must file a request to travel to any area in Colombia outside of two general areas. The first area is outlined by the cities of Bogota, Anolaima, Cogua, and Sesquile. The second area is on the Highway 90 corridor that connects Cartagena, Barranquilla, and Santa Marta. All U.S. citizens in Colombia are urged to follow these precautions and exercise extra caution outside of the aforementioned areas.
    ​​​

    “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” -- Carl Sagan

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