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Reviewed: 06 December 2010, 14:15 NZDT
Still current at: 24 May 2013
There is high risk to your security in the rural areas bordering Panama, Venezuela and Ecuador, as well as in the towns of Buenaventura and San José del Guaviare and areas surrounding them, and in the Parque Nacional Natural de La Macarena in Meta, due to the presence of illegal armed groups and high levels of coca cultivation and we advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel there.
There is also a high risk to your security in all areas of intensive coca cultivation, including the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, areas of north-eastern Magdalena, south-western La Guajira, southern Cordoba, southern Bolívar, northern Antioquia, southern Meta, northern and central Guaviare, central Arauca, central Vichada, western Cauca, eastern and western Nariño and western and northern Putumayo, and we advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel there.
There is some risk to your security elsewhere in Colombia due to terrorism, kidnapping and violent crime, and we advise travellers to exercise caution.
There is a risk of terrorism throughout Colombia and, despite significant reductions over past years, a high incidence of kidnapping. This is linked to the strong presence of illegal armed groups and prevalent coca cultivation. If you travel to areas of high risk, you should ensure you have taken appropriate, professional security measures. We recommend you seek up-to-date advice from local authorities before you travel to remote areas, as the security situation may change quickly.
Although the situation has improved in recent years, the risk of terrorist bombings and kidnapping still extends to the cities. You should be particularly cautious around government buildings, military establishments, public transport and commercial and entertainment centres, which are potential targets for terrorist attacks. In August 2010, a bomb attack in Bogotá injured 9 people. Another bomb attack in Bogotá, in January 2009, killed two people and injured at least twenty others. In other centres, a car bomb exploded in central Cali in August 2008 killing four people. In February 2009, a car bomb attack at a police station, also in central Cali, killed two people. In March 2010, a car bomb exploded in Buenaventura killing nine people and injuring fifty five others.
There are high levels of violent crime linked to theft in the cities, including Bogotá. We recommend you use pre-booked taxis where possible and avoid displaying valuables.
Travellers are advised to avoid crossing the borders into and out of Colombia by land. The incidence of landmines and unexploded ordnance in Colombia is high. Travellers should follow local advice, and also be aware that mine areas can be unmarked.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Colombia should have comprehensive travel or medical insurance policies in place that include provision for medical evacuation by air. We recommend you contact your insurance provider to ensure you have appropriate cover for Colombia.
New Zealanders in Colombia are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Contact details are
Street address Av. Isidora Goyenechea, Piso 12, (Casilla 112), Las Condes, Santiago, Chile
Telephone +56 2 616 3000 Facsimile +56 2 616 3040
Office hours Mon – Fri 0900 – 1300 hrs, 1400 – 1700 hrs
Contact details are
Telephone +57 1 213 2827
Mobile + 57 310 230 7795
Facsimile +57 1 274 7135