Security Alert – U.S. Embassy Quito, Ecuador

Message for U.S. Citizens
Security Alert
October 17, 2023

Location:  Ecuador

Event:   Second-round elections for Ecuador’s presidency will take place on Sunday, October 15, 2023.  President Lasso declared a 60-day nationwide State of Exception — which allows the military to support police operations and limits the freedom of assembly — following the August 9 assassination in Quito of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio. On October 9, 2023, the Government of Ecuador extended by one month the State of Exception, which remains in force.  You should expect a heavy police and military presence throughout Ecuador on election day, which will be concentrated at polling sites and vote counting centers.  Demonstrations or crowds could arise with little or no advance notice. While demonstrations could occur anywhere, locations around government buildings and polling sites could be especially affected.  You may encounter road closures and other traffic disruptions when traveling in affected areas, particularly in the vicinity of headquarters of the National Electoral Commission (CNE).

On October 15, please take the following actions:

  • Maintain increased vigilance.
  • Monitor local media for updates.
  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Avoid areas around polling sites.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates.