Worldview Security Update – September 11, 2020
11-Sep-20

AMERICAS

Colombia (Security threat level – 4): Overnight on 10-11 September 2020, disruptive protests continued for a second consecutive night in the capital Bogotá and other major cities across Colombia, including Cali and Medellín. Demonstrators nationwide targeted police stations and blockaded major thoroughfares in response to the death of a man in police custody on 9 September. In Bogotá, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in the Engativá and Fontibón districts despite a request from the city’s mayor to leave the streets by 1900 local time (0000 UTC on 11 September). Protesters erected blockades on Avenida Cali — a main thoroughfare — and set fire to at least one police station in the Villa Luz neighborhood, prompting police officers to deploy tear gas to disperse the gathering. In Medellín, clashes occurred between protesters and police officers after the demonstrators set up roadblocks on Avenida Oriental, one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, gathered at Parque de los Deseos and protested outside the city’s police headquarters. In Cali, demonstrators vandalized buildings of the BBVA bank and Banco de Bogotá. Additional clashes between protesters and police officers occurred in the cities of Barranquilla, Caldas, Cudinamarca and Tunja. Protesters reportedly set several police stations on fire in each city. Since 9 September at least 10 people have been killed in protest-related violence and approximately 400 more have suffered injuries, including 188 police officers.

In anticipation of additional protests, a security official in Bogotá warned that a nighttime curfew could be imposed in the city on 11-12 September. There is a high probability of demonstrations in the city and elsewhere in Colombia through the upcoming weekend. If violence intensifies during these demonstrations, authorities are likely to impose curfews and deploy additional security forces in an attempt to suppress the protests, which will further escalate the ongoing situation. Individuals currently residing in major Colombian cities should limit their movement after dark and avoid the vicinity of police stations in order to avoid being collaterally affected during the probable violence.

Guatemala (Security threat level – 4): On 10 September 2020, authorities announced that Guatemala will reopen its land, air and sea borders on 18 September. The borders have remained closed since 5 March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The government is expected to announce additional safety protocol measures as part of international entry requirements in the coming weeks.

ASIA

China (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 0900 local time (0100 UTC) on 11 September 2020, a powerful gas explosion occurred at a hotel located in the Doumen district of the southeastern Chinese city of Zhuhai, Guangdong, igniting a fire. Approximately 55 firefighters deployed to the scene and extinguished the blaze within one hour, according to the local fire department. The blast damaged several nearby buildings, including shops and residences, and injured at least three people. Authorities have launched a probe into the event.

Myanmar (Security threat level – 4): On 10 September 2020, authorities banned all nonessential inter-state domestic travel to limit the spread of COVID-19. Residents may only leave their homes for emergency events and may be subject to quarantines and health screenings. All domestic flights and regional bus services have been suspended until further notice. The previous day, authorities expanded stay-at-home orders for the following Yangon townships: South Okkala, Tamwe, Mayangone, Kamaryut, North Dagon, Hlainf Thar Yar, San Chaung, Botataung, Mingalar Taung Nyunt, South Dagon, Yankin, Dagon, Kyimyindaing, Kyauktada, East Dagon, Ahlone, Bahan, Dagon Seikkan, Daw Pone, Lanmataw and Hlegu. Residents subject to stay-at-home orders must obtain permission from local authorities to leave their homes. A nightly curfew from 2300-0400 local time (1630-2130 UTC) is also in effect for all areas of Yangon until further notice. Violators of coronavirus-related restrictions could face up to one year in prison.