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Canada Issues Warning on Travel to Colombia


Canada has issued an advisory to its citizens on travelling to Colombia, as the country faces increasing insecurity in Medellin. Credit: ColombiaOne

Canada has issued an advisory to its citizens on travelling to Colombia, as the country faces increasing insecurity in Medellin and other regions, highlighting the danger in conflict areas with a high presence of armed groups.

The government of Canada has issued a strong security warning to its citizens on travel to the Andean country, citing a rise in crime and the sexual exploitation of minors, particularly in Medellin, in the department of Antioquia.

The recommendation includes exercising a “high degree of caution” and staying clear of specific areas that are experiencing a high presence of armed groups and criminal organisations when arriving in the coffee-growing country.

Canada warns about certain areas in Colombia

Among the areas listed by the government of Canada are conflict regions like Arauca, a department in Colombia where there is a strong presence of illegal armed groups such as the FARC and ELN dissidents, along with Caqueta (excluding Florencia), parts of Cauca (excluding Popayan) and Choco (excluding Nuqui, Bahia Solano and Capurgana.)

The authority also published warnings about the border sites with Venezuela and Panama, where there is reportedly a high level of illegal activity, and Ecuador (excluding Ipiales border), with warnings detailing the risk of kidnapping and violent crime. Other places cited are Norte de Santander and port cities such as Puerto de Tumaco and Buenaventura, as well as Antioquia, Cordoba, Guainia, Guaviare and Vichada.

The Canadian government also drew attention to dangers in tourism from the sexual exploitation of minors, which was allegedly related to cases of homicides of tourists in the capital of Antioquia.

This travel warning comes not long after the death of Salo Lloyd, a 60-year-old Canadian citizen whose body was found in Medellin with a head injury, on February 12. Police were patrolling a sector of Commune 16 when they found Lloyd’s body lying on the ground.

His death, currently under investigation, is the latest of at least six other non-migrant travellers’ deaths so far this year, raising concerns about the safety of visitors to the country.

The US embassy in Colombia also issued a warning to its citizens regarding the escalation of murders and robberies in the Paisa city, especially those linked to the use of dating apps. No tourist murders have been confirmed in the Aburra Valley this year however, and the Metropolitan Police have taken into account that these seven tourist deaths may have been from natural diseases, suicides or overdoses. However, 2023 ended with a total of 12 murders of people from other countries, not including Venezuelans, in Medellin.

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