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Reviewed: 24 February 2011, 13:35 NZDT
Still current at: 24 May 2013
There is some risk to your security in Bolivia due to civil unrest and violent crime and we advise caution.
Political protests are frequent and there is a continuing risk of strikes and demonstrations that have the potential to result in violence. Roadblocks and disruptions to public transport, particularly in tourist areas, are also common. New Zealanders in Bolivia should exercise a high degree of caution, monitor the local media, avoid demonstrations and not attempt to pass or go around roadblocks. If you are already in an area affected by demonstrations or violence you should remain indoors or in a safe location, follow any advice issued by local authorities and consider leaving the area when it is safe to do so.
Violent crime against foreigners, including armed robbery, is increasing particularly in tourist areas like La Paz and Santa Cruz. “Express kidnappings”, where victims are held until they have extracted money from bank accounts, have become more common. Particular care should be taken at land border crossings with Chile and Peru. Throughout the country, care should be taken when using public transport. Do not use unmarked taxis, and if travelling by bus, try to use direct routes wherever possible.
The tourist police number with English speaking operators is:
In La Paz: 222 5016
In Bolivia but outside La Paz: 02 222 5016
From outside Bolivia: +591 2 222 5016
New Zealanders travelling or living in Bolivia should have comprehensive medical and travel insurance policies in place that include provision for medical evacuation by air.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Bolivia are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.