Worldview Security Update – May 7, 2019
7-May-19

AMERICAS

Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On 6 May 2019, Mexican authorities discovered the wreckage of a Bombardier Challenger 600 jet in a mountainous area near Monclova, located in the northern state of Coahuila. The Monterrey-bound aircraft with registration N601VH had gone missing from radar the previous day, nearly two hours after departing Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport (KLAS/LAS) at 1452 local time (2152 UTC). All 13 individuals aboard the aircraft — including 10 passengers and three crew members — were killed. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

ASIA

Bangladesh (Security threat level – 4): On 7 May 2019, jute mill workers continued to strike for a second consecutive day over unpaid wages in the cities of Dhaka and Khulna. In the Jatrabari district of Dhaka, workers blocked roads from 0800 local time until 1300 local time (0200 to 0700 UTC). In the adjacent Demra district, workers marched through the streets beginning at 0700 local time, and reportedly vandalized several vehicles. In Khulna, workers blocked roads from 1600 until 1900 local time. The protests caused traffic disruptions, but there were no reports of injuries.

EUROPE

France (Security threat level – 1): As of 7 May 2019, French air traffic controllers (ATC) are planning to launch a strike beginning on 8 May to protest against the Public Service Transformation Project that will allegedly lead to the loss of 120,000 jobs. The industrial action is expected to begin at 1900 local time (1700 UTC) on 8 May and last until 0600 local time on 10 May. In a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) released on 6 May, authorities stated that minimum services would be provided at most French airports, but that ATC services would be dependent on available staff. Eurocontrol has asked aircraft operators to reduce flights by 30 percent at Orly Airport (LFPO/ORY), Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport (LFLL/LYS), Marseille Provence Airport (LFML/MRS) and Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (LFBO/TLS) from 0600 to 2400 local time on 9 May in light of the strike. Travelers with flights to or over France are advised to check the status of their flight with their airline, as delays and cancellations are expected across Europe.

Meanwhile, unions representing civil servants — including the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) and Workers’ Force (FO) — have called for nationwide demonstrations on 9 May over the same issue. In Paris, protesters are planning to march from Place Denfert-Rochereau in the 14th arrondissement to the Les Invalides in the 7th arrondissement. Visitors in France on this day should avoid all large gatherings as a precaution.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Benin (Security threat level – 3): On 6 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Benin, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Two French tourists and their Beninese guide were reported missing from Pendjari National Park on Wednesday 1 May. The local authorities have confirmed that a body found on 4 May is that of the guide. There are reports that the abandoned car has also been found across the border in Burkina Faso. You should exercise increased caution if travelling in this area.”
  • Sri Lanka (Security threat level – 3): On 7 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Sri Lanka, which reads in part as follows:

  • “The Sri Lankan government continues to use curfews to support ongoing security operations; these have been limited to certain areas and have been put in place at short notice, so you should keep up to date with developments.”
  • 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.