Worldview Security Report – April 1, 2019
1-Apr-19

AMERICAS

Nicaragua (Security threat level – 4): On 30 March 2019, hundreds of people gathered in downtown Managua to demand that the government release all political prisoners. The participants clashed with police officers at a commercial center. At least four people were injured when security forces reportedly opened fire to disperse the group. At least 10 other protesters were detained. The demonstration occurred one day after President Daniel Ortega had reportedly signed an agreement with the opposition coalition to affirm citizens’ right to protest.

United States (Security threat level – 2): On 1 April 2019, several major U.S. Airlines — including Delta Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines — reported that a system outage caused flight delays at several U.S. airports. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported that the outage had affected the Aerodata computer program. FAA officials stated at approximately 0700 Central Time (1200 UTC) that the system issue has been resolved. Travelers should contact their airlines regarding potential delays.

Venezuela (Security threat level – 4): On 31 March 2019, President Nicolas Maduro announced a plan to ration electricity for the next 30 days, as blackouts and water shortages continued to affect cities across Venezuela. In a televised statement, Maduro claimed that the plan will include an “emphasis on guaranteeing water service.” The announcement followed reports that the government will close schools and shorten the national workday, which will now end at 1400 local time, for an unspecified length of time.

That same day, crowds took to the streets to protest against the ongoing blackouts and lack of access to potable water. Protesters in Caracas erected barricades and set fire to trash in roads. Armed government supporters disrupted the protests, which took place on Armed Forces Avenue, near the presidential palace and in the neighborhood of Cotiza. According to local media sources, at least two protesters were wounded by gunfire from government supporters in central Caracas.

EUROPE

France (Security threat level – 3): On 30 March 2019, approximately 33,000 people participated in the 20th consecutive weekend of “yellow vest” protests across France. Clashes between protesters and police officers occurred in the cities of Avignon, Toulouse and Bordeaux. In Bordeaux, protesters charged police barriers and set fire to a construction site, prompting police officers to respond with tear gas. Paris’ “yellow vest” demonstrations were largely peaceful. Police officers arrested more than 100 protesters nationwide.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Comoros (Security threat level – 3): On 29 March 2019, the U.S. Department of State upgraded its Travel Advisory for Comoros to a Level 3 (“Reconsider Travel”) from a Level 2 (“Exercises Increased Caution”) due to civil unrest. The updated travel advisory reads in part as follows:

  • “Reconsider travel to The Union of the Comoros due to civil unrest.
  • “Comoros is experiencing civil and political unrest, including armed conflict, roadblocks, and protests following a contested election. Comorian officials have responded to demonstrations with force. Travel services into, out of, and within the Comoros may be disrupted without notice. U.S. government personnel under Chief of Mission authority have been temporarily relocated off Comoros.
  • “The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the Union of the Comoros. U.S. citizens in the Comoros must contact the U.S. Embassy in Antananarivo for consular assistance.”
  • Guatemala (Security threat level – 4): On 29 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “As a precaution, official approval is required for U.S. Embassy personnel to travel to the Huehuetenango and San Marcos Departments due to on-going security concerns. Embassy operations continue as normal.”
  • Honduras (Security threat level – 4): On 29 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa issued a Health Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Throughout Honduras, with the highest risk in the Cortés Department.
  • “Event: The Honduras Ministry of Health has reported a significant increase in dengue fever and severe dengue fever compared to 2018.”
  • Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On 29 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City issued a Natural Disaster Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Mexico City and States of Puebla and Morelos
  • “Event: Popocatepetl Volcano, located between the Mexican states of Puebla and Morelos, has registered significant increased activity in recent days, including discharges of water and volcanic vapor, ash, and magma causing grassland fires on the volcano’s slopes and nearby locations.
  • “A Volcano Watch is in effect and Mexico’s National Center of Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED) has issued a Yellow Alert Level 3 advising those in the affected areas to be alert and prepare for a possible evacuation. CENAPRED also warns against approaching the volcano, especially the crater.
  • “Affected areas according to CENAPRED include Santa Cruz, Atlixco, San Pedro, San Andres and Santa Isabel Cholula, San Pedro Benito Juarez, and other municipalities in the state of Puebla, as well as Hueyapan, Tetela del Volcan and other municipalities in the state of Morelos. Locations in the state of Mexico and Mexico City could experience light ash-falls.”
  • Solomon Islands (Security threat level – 2): On 1 April 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Solomon Islands in general, but these areas in particular:
  • Fateleka (north Malaita)
  • Malu (north Malaita)
  • Gizo (Western province)
  • West Honiara
  • Central Guadalcanal – Hells Point
  • “Event: National Elections will be held in the Solomon Islands on Wednesday, April 3rd, and there will be 1040 polling booths throughout the country. It will take between 3 days to 2 weeks to declare the winners in each constituency. Violence between the various political parties has been known to break out on both Election Day, and during the vote counting period afterwards.”

  • Security threat levels range from 1 (Very Low) to 5 (Very High) and are determined using a comprehensive system that utilizes both qualitative and quantitative analysis. The primary factors used to determine a location’s security threat level are Armed Conflict, Crime, Demonstrations/Strikes, Ethnic/Sectarian Tensions, Graft/Corruption, Kidnapping, Political Instability, Government Restriction and Terrorism.