Worldview Security Update – September 24, 2020
24-Sep-20

AMERICAS

Ecuador / El Salvador (Security threat levels – 3 / 4): On 23 September 2020, Ecuadorian authorities announced that bars, nightclubs and other entertainment venues are permitted to reopen in the city of Santo Domingo, located approximately 150 km (95 mi) west of the capital Quito. Such businesses are expected to be limited to 75% occupancy. Face masks remain mandatory inside such establishments and other venues open to the public.

In El Salvador, the Santa Rosa de Lima municipality, located in the eastern La Unión Department, entered a 24-hour lockdown on 23 September due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. The measure, which bans residents from leaving their homes, will remain in effect until further notice. Security personnel have established a sanitary cordon, barring transit to or from the municipality except for emergency situations. The government has promised to distribute food, masks and medicine to residents. The municipality of San Francisco Gotera, located in the northeastern Morazán department, is also under a 24-hour lockdown.

Guatemala / Mexico / Venezuela (Security threat levels – 4 / 4 / 5): On 23 September 2020, a stolen Hawker 800 aircraft crashed in the Santa Marta Salina community in the Guatemalan town of Chisec, located in the northern Alta Verapaz department, close to the border with Mexico. The aircraft had been attempting to land on a clandestine runway. Guatemalan authorities searching the wreckage found two bodies, presumed to be Mexican nationals, as well as cocaine packages and firearms. Unidentified individuals stole the aircraft at approximately 1150 local time (1650 UTC) on 22 September from Mexico’s Matamoros International Airport (MMCB/CVJ), located in Cuernavaca, Morelos, and flew it to Venezuela’s La Chinita International Airport (SVMC/MAR) — located in Zulia state — where it landed at approximately 1600 local time (2000 UTC). The aircraft then departed the Venezuelan airport at approximately 1750 local time and flew north before crashing in Guatemala. Guatemalan authorities have opened an investigation into the event.
United States (Security threat level – 2): Overnight on 23-24 September 2020, protests broke out in a number of major U.S. cities following a grand jury decision to not indict two police officers who shot and killed a 26-year-old Black woman during a 13 March raid at her residential apartment in Louisville, Kentucky. One of the three officers involved in the raid was indicted for shooting at random into a nearby apartment. In Louisville, demonstrators – who had begun gathering at Jefferson Square Park in the downtown area beginning on the morning of 23 September — started marching through the city shortly after the state’s attorney general announced the decision. Police officers stopped the participants in the city’s Highlands area and used batons and chemical irritants to disperse the march. Separately, protesters threw fireworks and set several garbage cans on fire near Jefferson Square Park. Authorities arrested as many as 100 people in the city. Meanwhile, a gunman shot two police officers, both of whom suffered non-life-threatening wounds, shortly before a citywide curfew went into effect at 2100 local time on 23 September (0100 UTC on 24 September). A state of emergency remains in effect in Louisville and a nightly curfew from 2100-0630 local time will continue at least until the morning of 26 September. Additionally, about 500 Kentucky National Guard personnel are deployed in the city.

Elsewhere in the U.S., a motorist drove through a group of protesters near Niagara Square in Buffalo, New York, injuring at least one person; authorities later arrested the motorist. In Seattle, Washington, protesters clashed with police officers, who arrested at least 13 people. In Portland, Oregon, approximately 75 protesters gathered in the downtown area, threw Molotov cocktails at police officers and started small-scale fires along a side of the police central precinct building. At least three police officers were injured in Portland, and authorities arrested multiple people. Additionally, police officers in Atlanta, Georgia, deployed tear gas and pepper spray at demonstrators who attempted to climb on top of a police vehicle.

Other notable protest gatherings concluded largely peacefully in major cities. In New York City, thousands of people took to the streets, including in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood and near Brooklyn’s Barclays Center — from where approximately 2,000 people marched across the Manhattan Bridge, disrupting vehicular traffic. Meanwhile, approximately 1,000 people marched in downtown Los Angeles and gathered outside the Hall of Justice; police officers arrested two individuals who were engaged in vandalism. In downtown Chicago, hundreds of people gathered at Millennium Park, chanting slogans to demand justice for the deceased. Protests also occurred in Chicago’s Logan Square and Wicker Park neighborhoods. In Washington, D.C., protesters gathered outside the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Justice and marched through the city center area. Windows of a restaurant were smashed in the city’s Adams Morgan neighborhood, but there were no other reports of violence.

EUROPE

Belarus (Security threat level – 3): On 23 September 2020, anti-government protests broke out in the capital Minsk, and also in the cities of Grodno, Gomel, Mogilev, Polotsk, Borisov, Baranovichi, Stolin, Postavy and Smilovichi, following the surprise announcement of President Alexander Lukashenko’s inauguration for a sixth consecutive term. In the capital, as demonstrations continued into the evening near the Minsk Hero City Obelisk, security forces launched a crackdown. Riot police officers deployed water cannons and tear gas to disperse the protesters. Authorities arrested at least 250 people nationwide. Following the inauguration announcement, officials in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and the U.S. stated that they do not recognize Lukashenko as president.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 23 September 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago issued a Health Alert regarding changes in quarantine measures, which reads in part as follows: "The following new measures were announced by the Chilean government on September 23:

"The imposition of a quarantine for the following comunas (begins Friday, September 25 at 11:00 pm):

  • Ercilla (IX Region)
  • Lonquimay (IX Region)
  • Teodoro Schmidt (IX Region)
  • Coyhaique (XI 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 28 at 5:00 am):

  • Pozo Almonte (I Region)
  • Mejillones (II Region)
  • Antofagasta (II Region)
  • La Serena (IV Region)
  • Coquimbo (IV Region)
  • La Cruz (V Region)
  • Quinta Normal (RM)
  • Cerro Navia (RM)
  • Lo Prado (RM)
  • Conchalí (RM)
  • Lo Espejo (RM)
  • La Pintana (RM)
  • Puente Alto (RM)
  • Buin (RM)
  • Linares (VII Region) 

"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 28 at 5:00 am):

  • Lampa (RM)
  • Quilicura (RM)
  • Lo Barnechea (RM)
  • Santiago Centro (RM)
  • Estación Central (RM)
  • Pedro Aguirre Cerda (RM)
  • Peñalolén (RM)
  • Padre Hurtado (RM)
  • Calera de Tango (RM)
  • Isla de Maipo (RM)
  • Tiltil (RM)
  • Talagante (RM) 

"The downgrading of the following comunas from Phase 3 (Preparation) to Phase 2 (Transition). This includes the reimposition of quarantines on weekends and holidays (begins Friday, September 25 at 11:00 pm):

  • Panguipulli (XIV Region)

Lanco (XIV Region)"