Worldview Security Update – September 10, 2020
10-Sep-20

AMERICAS

Colombia (Security threat level – 4): Overnight on 9-10 September 2020, unrest broke out in the capital Bogotá and other cities in Colombia over the death of a man in police custody. Protests initially broke out in Bogotá in the evening hours of 9 September following the release of a video that showed police officers in the Engativá neighborhood repeatedly using a stun gun on the man after arresting him for allegedly violating coronavirus-related social distancing rules. Clashes occurred in the Engativá area, where hundreds of protesters gathered outside a police post that was used to hold the man before authorities transported him to a hospital. Violence also occurred in the nearby neighborhoods of Bosa, Kennedy, Suba, Teusaquillo, Usaquén and Villa Luz. During the protests, looters allegedly broke into a bank in the Britalia neighborhood. Demonstrators stormed 49 police posts across the city and set ablaze 17 of those facilities. Elsewhere in Colombia, violent protests broke out in the cities of Cali, Ibagué, Medellín, Pereira and Soacha. Police officials stated that five people were killed in Bogotá and two others in nearby Soacha during the unrest; at least 53 civilians and 87 police officers were injured nationwide.

Following the widespread violence in Bogotá, the mayor announced on the morning of 10 September that 1,600 police officers from other regions will be deployed to the city to support local security forces, along with 300 soldiers. While additional protests have not been announced, spontaneous demonstrations are likely later on 10 September.

United States (Security threat level – 2): As of 10 September 2020, more than 90 major wildfires continue to burn in 13 western U.S. states, with California, Oregon and Washington experiencing the most severe effects. Thus far, the blazes have consumed at least 5,300 sq. mi (13,725 sq. km) of land in total. In Northern California’s San Francisco Bay Area, smoke from wildfires caused poor visibility conditions on 9 September. In Butte County, officials fear that hundreds of residences have been destroyed; there have been at least three fatalities and an additional 12 people remain missing. More than 30,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes in Fresno and Madera counties.

In Oregon, the towns of Blue River, Detroit, Medford, Vida, Phoenix and Talent are among the most affected — hundreds of residences have been destroyed in those towns. Most of the residents in Medford are under mandatory evacuation orders. At least three people have been killed due to the fires. Meanwhile, in nearby Washington state, the town of Malden, located south of the city of Spokane, is the worst affected area. Blazes have also affected other areas in the eastern and central parts of the state, forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate their homes. At least one fatality has been reported in Washington.

United States (Security threat level – 2): On 9 September 2020, media reports citing anonymous U.S. officials stated that the U.S. government plans to rescind existing enhanced COVID-19 screening procedures at 15 airports designated to receive flights from select countries deemed high risk for COVID-19 transmission beginning on 14 September. The designated high-risk countries include Brazil, China, Iran, and the following European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K. Additionally, flights from the aforementioned countries will reportedly no longer need to reroute through the 15 designated airports.

ASIA

Indonesia (Security threat level – 4): On 9 September 2020, the governor of Jakarta announced that the territory will return to a partial lockdown beginning on 14 September due to a recent surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the area. Under the order, employees of nonessential businesses will be required to work from home, while nonessential establishments — such as entertainment venues and parks — must close and restaurants may only provide takeout services. Additionally, residents will be required to conduct worship services and other such activities from home.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Lebanon (Security threat level – 4): As of the late afternoon hours of 10 September 2020, firefighters in Beirut are working to control a large fire that broke out at a warehouse in the Port of Beirut. Lebanese military officials stated that although the warehouse contains highly flammable rubber tires and cooking oil, an explosive hazard cannot be ruled out as the cause of the fire. The blaze is reportedly spreading, and authorities have redirected traffic away from the port. Officials have warned people near the port to keep their windows closed due to potential toxins in the smoke emitting from the fire.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Angola / Zimbabwe (Security threat levels – 3 / 4): On 9 September 2020, Angola’s Transportation Ministry announced that noncommercial international flights will be permitted to resume on 21 September. A government official stated that such flights will repatriate Angolan citizens and allow foreign nationals in Angola to return to their respective countries. Passengers traveling to Angola are required to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to travel. Passengers are also required to self-quarantine and take an additional COVID-19 test seven days after arrival. Commercial flights to and from Angola have remained suspended since March due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In Zimbabwe, the government announced that domestic commercial flights will resume on 10 September, while international commercial flights will resume on 1 October. According to the information minister, the Zimbabwe Civil Aviation Authority developed new standard operating procedures and national guidelines to ensure the safety of travelers and airport personnel. Travelers will be required to submit proof of negative results from a COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours prior to traveling to Zimbabwe.

Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 10 September 2020, approximately 100 demonstrators affiliated with the M5-RFP opposition coalition clashed with security forces in the capital Bamako. The clashes occurred outside the building where talks were scheduled to begin the same day among military officials and civil society leaders over the structure of the transitional government. Security forces deployed tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. There were no reports of casualties; however, the clashes did cause a brief delay in the start of the discussions.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Bolivia (Security threat level – 3): On 9 September 2020, the U.S. Embassy in La Paz issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

"Location: La Paz

"Event: Bolivian civic groups in La Paz continue to organize civic rallies throughout the city, especially in the regions of Obrajes and Zona Sur. These demonstrations include road blocks of major thoroughfares and may cause significant congestion. The expected size and duration of these demonstrations is unknown."

Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 9 September 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago issued a Health Alert regarding the Chilean government’s adjustments to city-level quarantine measures, which reads in part as follows:

"As of September 9, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 427,027 cases of COVID-19 in Chile. The government of Chile has implemented measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. The following new measures were announced by the Chilean government on September 9:

  • The imposition of a quarantine for the following comunas (begins Friday, September 11 at 11:00 pm): Vallenar (III Region), Paine (RM), Molina (VII Region), San Clemente (VII Region), Longaví (VII Region), Coronel (VIII Region), San Pedro de la Paz (VIII Region), Lota (VIII Region), Puerto Natales (XII Region), Porvenir (XII Region)
  • The upgrading of the following comunas from Phase 1 (Quarantine) to Phase 2 (Transition). This includes the removal of quarantine from Monday-Friday (begins Monday, September 14 at 5:00 am): Quilicura (RM), San Bernardo (RM), Isla de Maipo (RM)

The upgrading of the following comunas from Phase 2 (Transition) to Phase 3 (Preparation). This includes the lifting of quarantine on the weekends and holidays (begins Monday, September 14 at 5:00 am): La Reina (RM)."