NORTH AMERICA Cuba / United States (Security threat levels –...
Colombia (Security threat level – 4) : Nationwide demonstrations over income inequality, police brutality and youth unemployment are expected to continue on 14 June 2021. Talks between representatives of the Colombian government and the National Strike Committee remain suspended and no date has been set for negotiations to resume. In lieu of these negotiations, the Colombian government has announced that it will instead pursue regional dialogues through 200 working groups with the participation of local authorities and protest organizers to reach agreements. A spokesperson for the National Strike Committee described the regional dialogues as a technique of deception that has been used by previous administrations and declared that it will result in an outbreak of renewed unrest within months, as the core issues that prompted the demonstrations will not be addressed.
Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On the afternoon of 11 June 2021, a shooting occurred at Playa Tortugas, a tourist area located in the Hotel Zone of the resort town of Cancún in Quintana Roo state. Two gunmen riding by on a personal watercraft shot and killed two street vendors and wounded a U.S. tourist before fleeing the scene. The tourist — a bystander — was hit by a stray bullet and hospitalized with a shoulder injury. Authorities have opened an investigation into the event.
United States (Security threat level – 2) : At approximately 0130 local time (0630 UTC) on 12 June 2021, a shooting event occurred in the Sixth Street entertainment district of downtown Austin, the state capital of Texas. Police officers arrived at the scene immediately following reports of gunfire and cordoned off the area. The shooting left 14 people wounded; one of the victims succumbed to his injuries at a hospital the following day and two others remain in critical condition. Authorities believe most of the victims were innocent bystanders. Police officers have arrested one person in relation to the shooting and are pursuing another suspect. Preliminary reports indicate that a dispute between two parties resulted in the shooting.
Philippines (Security threat level – 4): On 14 June 2021, authorities in Manila announced that the capital region’s coronavirus-related nighttime curfew will be adjusted to 0000-0400 (1600-2000 UTC) from 2200-0400 local time (1400-2000UTC) beginning on 15 June. A government spokesperson announced that restrictions are being eased due to a decrease in the rate of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and to help the local economy rebound from closures during the pandemic. Manila’s general community quarantine is set to expire on 16 June.
Israel (Security threat level – 4): On 13 June 2021, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett of the Yamina party and his Cabinet took office following a 60 to 59 confidence vote in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, replacing former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Under a power-sharing agreement, Bennett will serve as the premier until September 2023, at which point he will hand over power to Yair Lapid — the leader of the Yesh Atid party — who will hold the post until 2025. According to agreements outlined for the new unity government, it is expected to concentrate on economic and social issues, while avoiding controversial issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Analyst Comment: Given the nature of the power-sharing agreement, it is unlikely that the new government will make significant progress toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Far-right members of the coalition continue to oppose concessions regarding settlements or giving up land in exchange for an accord.
Tunisia (Security threat level – 3): On 12 June 2021, several hundred protesters clashed with police officers in the Sidi Hassine suburb in western Tunis, the capital, following an earlier demonstration against police violence near the Ministry of Interior in the city center. Protesters threw rocks, fireworks and other projectiles toward police officers, who used tear gas and anti-riot tactics in an attempt to dispel the protesters from the area. Authorities arrested multiple demonstrators. Protests against police violence have continued in the Sidi Hassine suburb following the 8 June death of a local man shortly after his arrest.
Mauritius (Security threat level – 1): On 11 June 2021, authorities in Mauritius announced that the country will reopen its borders to individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19 beginning on 15 July. During the first phase of reopening — from 15 July to 30 September 2021 — authorities will allow vaccinated tourists to travel to pre-approved hotels; a list of pre-approved hotels will be announced on 20 June. Visitors whose stay is shorter than 14 days will not be allowed to leave the hotel premises. For travelers who stay in Mauritius for more than 14 days, a PCR test with negative results — administered at the resort on the 14th day — will allow visitors to travel elsewhere on the island. Inbound travelers are required to present proof of a negative PCR test taken five to seven days before traveling to the island and take another PCR test upon arrival at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (FIMP/MRU).
Nigeria (Security threat level – 5): On 12 June 2021, anti-government protests occurred in major cities nationwide to coincide with Democracy Day, a holiday commemorating the transition to civilian rule in 1999. In the capital city Abuja and economic capital Lagos, police officers deployed tear gas and detained protesters. Some police officers reportedly fired live ammunition into the air to disperse protesters. In addition, local sources reported that hundreds of government supporters clashed with protesters at the Unity Fountain in Abuja.
There were reports of minor injuries during the protest-related violence, primarily in Abuja, Lagos and Ibadan. The demonstrations were largely organized to denounce an uptick in kidnappings-for-ransom, the government’s handling of the ongoing Islamist insurgency, and instances of police brutality during nationwide protests in October 2020.
Cuba (Security threat level – 2): On 12 June 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Cuba, which reads in part as follows: “From June 21st, Cuban banks will stop accepting cash bank deposits in US dollars. This will make it difficult to exchange US dollars or use them in cash transactions. Travellers cheques and credit cards drawn on American banks aren’t widely accepted. There are virtually no ATMs available for drawing cash against Cirrus or Switch cards. Credit card transactions, including withdrawals from ATMs, are subject to local commission charges of approximately 3% in addition to your bank transaction charges. Many international hotel shops now only accept payment by credit card, and not in CUC or CUP. Check with your hotel or tour operator before you travel.”