Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Demonstration / Travel Alert

Demonstration / Travel Alert – U.S. Mission, Ecuador – October 12, 2019

The U.S. Mission has received notification that road blockades continue in cities and towns throughout the country, including within the capital Quito, as part of ongoing demonstrations.

The Embassy continues to receive reports of demonstrations and road blockades in cities and towns throughout the country, including Quito. There are reports of violence associated with these demonstrations. Travel may be seriously disrupted during this time.

Indigenous groups, workers unions, social organizations, and some transportation groups continue to strike. This action involves violent clashes between protesters and police throughout the city. Protests also continue in other cities and towns across the country. There are reports of water and electricity being shut off in Tena, Riobamba, Cotocachi, and parts of Quito.

** The Government of Ecuador imposed a curfew effective 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 12, 2019 for Quito and the surrounding valleys. Please monitor further developments regarding the curfew via the Ecuadorian police and Ministry of Government Twitter feeds @policiaEcuador and @MinGobiernoEC as well as following the hashtag #toquedequeda.

** Given current conditions, all Embassy Quito personnel are being instructed to shelter in place. U.S. government personnel not already in-country are being advised not to return to Quito at this time. These same procedures are NOT in place for personnel at the U.S. Consulate in Guayaquil. **

** We urge all U.S. citizens to consider their safety foremost. U.S. citizens in Quito, the greater Quito area, or in areas where you feel it is unsafe to move about should shelter in place at this time. **

U.S. citizens should actively monitor the situation via public media until the demonstrations conclude and remain vigilant to demonstrations in other areas.  ECU911 provides nationwide updates at https://www.ecu911.gob.ec/consulta-de-vias/.  Agencia Metropolitana de Transito provides updates via Twitter.  Follow @AMTQuito or search #AMTInforma on Twitter.  To continue to receive important safety information about conditions in Ecuador, register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at: https://step.state.gov/step/.

Flights may continue to be cancelled in and out of Quito as a result of the disruptions to access roads.  Roads to the Mariscal Sucre International Airport of Quito have experienced periodic blockages.  Use best judgment and caution if you are traveling to the airport and closely monitor road closures.  If you have a scheduled flight, contact the airline directly for additional information.  You may also monitor flight information on the Quito and Guayaquil airport websites.  Note, however, that flights may be cancelled close to departure time.

Actions to Take

  • Shelter in place within Quito, the greater Quito area, or in areas where you feel it is unsafe to move about.
  • Do not travel within and between cities and provinces.
  • Avoid demonstration areas.
  • Monitor local media for updates on road closures and flight cancellations.
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Ensure adequate supplies of water, food, and fuel.