Ecuador Travel Advisories

October , 2008

US Embassy in Ecuador Issues Safety Warning to Travelers in Ecuador:

The U.S. Embassy in Ecuador wishes to inform American citizens visiting or resident in Ecuador that the country has experienced a rise in violent crime.  American citizens have been victims of numerous violent crimes, including armed robberies, home invasions, homicides, and sexual assaults.  Ecuadorian nationals have also experienced this increase in violent crime and have held protests demanding that the government take decisive action.  On October 21, 2008, the Ecuadorian National Police (ENP) put an emergency operations plan into effect due to the rise of criminal activity and will increase its police presence and activity in Ecuador’s 24 provinces.  American citizens should anticipate police checkpoints throughout the country, and be sure to carry all required documents while driving.  These documents include: cedula or passport, driver’s license, vehicle registration, proof of insurance, and license plates.

American citizens are reminded that criminals have especially targeted
people using ATMs and other services at local banks in Ecuador.  The
U.S. Embassy recommends that U.S. citizens avoid making large
withdrawals from local banks in Quito and throughout Ecuador.  When
possible, use wire transfers when completing transactions involving
large sums of money.  If large withdrawals or deposits from local banks
cannot be avoided, we recommend varying travel routes and
deposit/withdrawal times so criminals cannot easily recognize a pattern.
Banks and ATMs located in well traveled areas, such as shopping malls,
are generally safer than facilities on the street.  Law enforcement
officials in Ecuador and elsewhere recommend that victims not resist
their assailants.  Criminals in Ecuador are less likely to become
violent if you surrender your valuables without resistance.

Violent crime tends to be more common in the larger cities, but American
citizens have also been victims of armed robbery and violent assaults in
remote areas of Ecuador.  Americans should avoid deserted hiking trails
and beaches, and infrequently traveled roads, as well as the interior
regions of large city parks, particularly at night.

For information about news in Ecuador, see our news and current events page, which features updated news from a variety of news sources.