Worldview Security Update – November 5, 2019
6-Nov-19

AMERICAS

Bolivia (Security threat level – 3): As of the morning of 5 November 2019, pro-government demonstrators remain outside El Alto International Airport (SLLP/LPB), located approximately 15 km (9 mi) west of La Paz, following overnight protests at the facility. Protesters and security personnel clashed at the airport late on 4 November as government supporters attempted to enter the terminal building to prevent opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho from leaving the facility. Several hundred people had gathered at the airport following Camacho’s arrival earlier that night. According to SABSA — a private company that manages the airport — operations were not disrupted and additional security personnel have been deployed to ensure the safety of passengers and ensure that airport operations continue as normal. No information on potential injuries is available as of yet.

Camacho has called on protesters to continue peaceful blockades of Bolivia’s government institutions and borders throughout the day on 5 November to demand the resignation of recently reelected President Evo Morales. As such, further nationwide disruptions and clashes are probable throughout the day.
Chile (Security threat level – 2): Santiago metro operations resumed at 0630 local time (0930 UTC) on 5 November 2019 and will end at 2000 local time, a service schedule that will continue throughout the week barring any significant disruptions. A nationwide strike organized by two labor unions has entered its second day. In Concepción, protesters are currently marching down Calle O’Higgins – a main thoroughfare — and a demonstration is scheduled to take place at 2030 local time in downtown Santiago. Sporadic marches and demonstrations are likely to occur countrywide.

Protest-related violence, including clashes between security personnel and protesters, occurred during the evening hours of 4 November and overnight into 5 November in several cities across Chile. In Santiago, protesters erected barricades — including along La Alameda-Providencia — and attacked a Banco Santander branch located along Avenida Providencia. In one incident, protesters in Plaza Baquedano (Plaza Italia) threw Molotov cocktails at police, injuring at least two officers. Security personnel fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters across the city, including along La Alameda between Universidad de Chile and Universidad Católica and in Plaza Baquedano, where riot police officers also used water cannons.

Elsewhere in the country, protesters clashed with police officers in the Valparaíso region. In Llolleo — a commune of San Antonio — protesters set fire to a branch of the Banco de Chile and broke windows at a mall in the Viña del Mar area. Meanwhile, in Punta Arenas a group of demonstrators vandalized a statue located at Plaza Benjamín Muñoz Gamero following the conclusion of a peaceful protest march in the city. Elsewhere, violence also broke out following a peaceful large-scale protest in Arica; several buildings in the city sustained damage during the violence. In Chillán, a group of demonstrators erected roadblocks, threw stones at the municipal building and vandalized the Democracia Cristiana building during a large-scale demonstration in the city.

Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On 4 November 2019, cartel gunmen opened fire on three vehicles transporting U.S. citizens in the town of Bavispe, Sonora state. Mexican authorities suspect that the gunmen may have mistaken the large SUVs for those belonging to a rival drug gang. Nine passengers were killed and six others suffered gunshot wounds; one passenger remains missing. The Sinaloa cartel maintains a significant presence in the area, but is fighting rival gangs for territory.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Iraq (Security threat level – 5): As of the afternoon of 5 November 2019, anti-government demonstrators remain gathered in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square despite an official ban on gatherings that military officials implemented earlier that morning. Elsewhere, anti-government protesters and security forces clashed in the southern cities of Umm Qasr and Nasiriyah. In the port city of Umm Qasr, clashes broke out when officials attempted to reopen the port, which protesters have blocked for the past three days. At least three protesters were killed — one in Umm Qasr and two in Nasiriyah — and 31 others were injured during the violence.

Meanwhile, internet outages occurred across much of Iraq overnight on 4-5 November. Some areas experienced complete internet outages, while others experienced slower connectivity. Although internet access was partially restored by 0900 local time (0600 UTC) on 5 November, social media sites and various networks remain blocked.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Guinea-Bissau (Security threat level – 4): On 4 November 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Guinea-Bissau, which reads in part as follows:

“Guinea-Bissau suffers from political instability. The country is scheduled to hold Presidential Elections on 24 November 2019. Ahead of these elections, there has been an increase in civil unrest, street demonstrations and large public gatherings, which you should avoid. You should exercise a high degree of caution should you decide to travel to Guinea-Bissau. In the event of any political unrest you should follow the advice of local authorities.
“Although the security situation is currently calm, you should stay alert to local developments and avoid sensitive areas like military installations. You should also avoid any demonstrations.”

Mauritius (Security threat level – 1): On 5 November 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Port Louis issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:
“Event: Mauritius will hold parliamentary elections on November 7, 2019. Traffic may be extremely congested, and emergency services, such as ambulances and police, may take longer to respond. The availability of taxis or other transportation services may be limited. Restaurants and grocery stores may be closed.
“The U.S. Embassy in Port Louis will be closed on November 7, 2019 for the declared Mauritian public holiday for parliamentary elections. The Consular Section will provide only emergency services during this period.”