This Travel Alert is being issued to inform U.S. citizens of safety and security concerns throughout Guyana following recent events in Lusignan and Bartica by armed criminal elements. This Travel Alert expires on May 1, 2008.
U.S. citizens should carefully consider the risks of travel to Guyana in light of recent attacks in the Georgetown suburb of Lusignan and the Essequibo River town of Bartica. In both places, attacks were conducted by heavily armed gangs. The January 26 and February 17 attacks resulted in the deaths of twenty Guyanese civilians, including five children, and three Guyanese police officers. Due to the seemingly random nature of these crimes, the disparate locations in which they occurred, and the fact that the perpetrators have not all yet been apprehended, additional attacks in other parts of the country cannot be ruled out.
The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens traveling in Guyana to maintain a high level of vigilance, consider security issues when planning activities throughout Guyana, minimize movement when possible while avoiding large crowds, and not to travel at night. Guyanese authorities are conducting an investigation in response to the recent incidents and may institute further actions or precautions, including roadblocks or other measures.
For the latest security information, Americans living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs internet website at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution and Country Specific Information can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada or, for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
The U.S. Embassy in Georgetown can be reached at 592-225-4900 through 225-4909; the after-hours emergency number is 592-623-1992; the fax number is 592-225-8497. The Embassy's web site, which includes country information for Guyana, is at http://georgetown.usembassy.gov/.