Worldview Security Update – November 1, 2019
1-Nov-19

AMERICAS

Bolivia (Security threat level – 3): As of 1 November 2019, disruptive demonstrations to protest against the recent reelection of President Evo Morales are ongoing nationwide. Many roads throughout the country are either completely or partially impassable due to the unrest, including in the capital La Paz, Montero, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Corumbá, Cochabamba, Potosí and Camiri, among others; a number of inter-city roads are also affected. Around-the-clock roadblocks are set up in Potosí and Capitán Nicolás Rojas (SLPO/POI) is closed, as of last report. Up-to-date information regarding road closures and detours is available here .

On the previous evening, police officers clashed with anti-government protesters in La Paz. Police officers deployed tear gas to disperse the protesters, who attempted to overcome a police barrier on Socabaya Street near Plaza de Armas Murillo. Police officers arrested at least two participants and at least one journalist was injured during the clashes, which lasted approximately two hours. Street demonstrations were also held in the cities of Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Oruro, Sucre and Tarija; however, there were no reports of significant clashes.

In a related development on 31 October, the Organization of American States (OAS) began its audit of the 20 October presidential election results, which opposition leaders have disputed and which have fueled recent nationwide protests. The OAS is expected to publish the audit results, which will be binding, within a period of two weeks.

Chile (Security threat level – 2): As planned, the Santiago Metro resumed services at 0800 local time (1100 UTC) on 1 November 2019 following the previously announced suspension of metro services overnight from 31 October-1 November. On the previous day, security personnel used tear gas and water cannons to disperse demonstrators at the entrance of Plaza Italia and outside La Moneda Palace in Santiago. The protesters had peacefully marched to the presidential palace to demand improved social services. Protests were also reported at the intersection of Alameda and Vicuña Mackenna avenues and in La Granja neighborhood. Although several thousand marchers participated in the demonstration, the protest was significantly smaller than at previous demonstrations. A protest is scheduled to take place at Plaza de Armas in Santiago’s Quilicura neighborhood at 1100 local time on 3 November.

Meanwhile, at approximately 1700 local time in Concepción, security personnel used water cannons to disperse protesters marching through the city center after the marchers threw stones at the officers. A smaller group of protesters vandalized public signs and looted nearby businesses, including a dental clinic, a pharmacy and a butcher shop. Security personnel reportedly fired a tear gas canister to disperse the looters.

Earlier that day, the Piñera administration met with opposition leaders and proposed changes to special tax breaks for businesses. The opposition leaders claimed such changes would be insufficient to address their concerns and many called for a new constitution.

Panama (Security threat level – 3): On 31 October 2019, students began their third day of protests in Panama City. The students launched fireworks at police officers while they attempted to approach the National Assembly building. Police officers responded with tear gas and arrested several of the protesters. Meanwhile, students at the University of Panama set alight barricades, threw stones at police officers and closed the Transistmica route to vehicular traffic. Authorities have arrested at least 54 people thus far. The demonstrators are demanding that the government not proceed in recognizing constitutional reforms that were passed on 28 October.

United States (Security threat level – 2): As of the morning of 1 November 2019, firefighters continue to battle several wildfires across the state of California. States of emergency and High Wind Warnings are in effect in several counties due to the wildfires. Fires across the state have consumed approximately 198,390 acres (80,286 hectares) of land and destroyed more than 700 structures thus far. At least three wildfire-related fatalities have also been reported. Additional details regarding fires burning across the state of California can be found here .

In Northern California, the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County has consumed at least 77,758 acres of land and was 65% contained as of early on 1 November. The blaze has destroyed more than 349 structures and continues to threaten over 80,000 buildings, most of which are homes. A map displaying real-time fire and evacuation information for Sonoma County is available here .

In Southern California, the Maria Fire broke out on South Mountain, located southeast of Santa Paula in Ventura County, on the evening of 31 October. The fire has affected about 5,000 acres of land and is zero percent contained as of the morning of 1 November. Mandatory evacuation orders are in effect south of Highway 126 to East Los Angeles Avenue and from West Los Angeles Avenue east to Balcom County Road. Nearby, the Easy Fire close to Simi Valley has affected approximately 1,805 acres of land and is 60% contained. The Getty Fire continues to burn northwest of Brentwood in Los Angeles County, and mandatory evacuation orders remain in effect west of Interstate 405 to North Kenter Avenue. The blaze has consumed at least 750 acres of land and is 52% contained.

Elsewhere in Southern California, authorities have lifted evacuation orders that officials had previously issued due to the Hillside Fire in San Bernardino County and to the 46 Fire near Riverside County. The Hillside Fire has consumed at least 600 acres and is 50% contained. Meanwhile, the 46 Fire has destroyed at least four structures and is 50% contained thus far. Live updates on ongoing fires and evacuation information for areas in Southern California are available here .

ASIA

China (Security threat level – 3): According to 1 November 2019 reports, authorities banned a planned rally at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay that was scheduled to begin at 1500 local time (0700 UTC) on 2 November. Instead, approximately 120 pro-democracy candidates in upcoming district council elections on 24 November plan to hold election meetings — which do not require approval from authorities — beginning at 1500 local time in Victoria Park. Additionally, organizers of the original demonstration urged participants to attend two other approved rallies at Chater Garden and Edinburgh Place in Central beginning at 1700 local time. Meanwhile, following the conclusion of the candidate meetings, attendees plan to march from Victoria Park to the aforementioned locations in Central.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Algeria (Security threat level – 4): On 1 November 2019, hundreds of thousands of anti-government demonstrators have congregated in the capital Algiers for the 37th consecutive Friday to stage protests and to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Algerian War of Independence. Thousands of protesters demonstrated in the capital overnight on 31 October-1 November ahead of the planned rally. Police officers arrested several people along Hassiba Ben Bouali Street and near Martyrs’ Square overnight, although there were no clashes. Protesters are demanding that the government implement reforms ahead of general elections scheduled for 12 December, and that acting President Abdelkader Bensalah submit his resignation.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Cameroon (Security threat level – 4): On 1 November 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Yaoundé issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

“Location: Yaoundé

“Event: The Embassy informs U.S. citizens of the likelihood of a political rally at the Omnisport Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium and its vicinities on Saturday, November 2, 2019. Since permission for this rally has been denied, there could be an increased law enforcement presence and possible violence.

“Actions to take:

  • Avoid the Omnisport Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium and surrounding neighborhoods on Saturday, November 2."

France (Security threat level – 3): On 1 November 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for France, which reads in part as follows: “Some protests linked to the yellow vest (gilets jaunes) movement continue across France, generally taking place on Saturdays. The first anniversary of the yellow vest (gilets jaunes) movement falls on the weekend of 16 – 17 November, and there is an increased risk of disruption because of this.”

Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 31 October 2019, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) updated its travel advisory for Haiti, which reads in part as follows:

"Violent protests and widespread civil unrest have been taking place in Haiti since September 2, 2019 due to ongoing political instability. Large demonstrations are scheduled to take place in the vicinity of the U.S. Embassy on October 31 as well as on November 4-5-6.

"In addition to this volatile situation, the country is also experiencing water, food and fuel shortages. Many businesses and banks are closed, making it difficult to access cash and commodities of all kinds.

"Burning barricades are disrupting traffic in the main streets of Port-au-Prince. Roadblocks are also severely disrupting transportation nationwide. There have been reports of armed protesters who throw rocks or shoot at vehicles that get close or kidnap people for ransom money. Access to the airport may be blocked without notice.

"Clashes between protestors and security forces have occurred. Police have used tear gas and live ammunition to disperse crowds. Additional protests are expected. Acts of violence could happen without notice.

"Avoid all unnecessary travel to Haiti."

Tanzania (Security threat level – 3): On 1 November 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Tanzania, which reads in part as follows: “A person died in Tanzania in September 2019. It appears probable that this was an Ebola-related death. As of 31 October 2019, there is no evidence of ongoing active transmission of Ebola in Tanzania. You should monitor the Public Health England (PHE) website for the latest updates.”