Security Alert: 12 January 2024 Nationwide State of Emergency in Ecuador

Alert:  Nationwide State of Emergency in Ecuador

Location:  Nationwide

Event:  Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa declared January 8 a nationwide state of emergency for a period of 60 days.  He later declared the existence of an internal armed conflict and authorized military action against organized criminal gangs across Ecuador following numerous attacks against private, public, and government institutions.  Major cities across Ecuador remain relatively calm while police-military operations continue in response to sporadic gang attacks and threats.

The United States Embassy and Consulate in Ecuador will be closed on Monday, January 15 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  The Embassy and Consulate intend to send the next security update January 16, barring new information that would be of immediate use to U.S. citizens in Ecuador.  Routine consular appointments are scheduled to resume January 16.  If it becomes necessary to cancel scheduled appointments, applicants will be notified via their email address on record.  The Ministry of Education has not yet determined whether Ecuadorian schools will return to in-person classes January 15 or remain on-line.

The Government of Ecuador announced January 11 that, during the state of emergency, all foreign citizens entering the country via land border crossings with Colombia or Peru are required to present an apostilled certificate showing a lack of criminal record.  See Travel.State.Gov for information on how to obtain a criminal record check and apostille from the United States.  The U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Ecuador cannot assist citizens crossing a land border in obtaining this required documentation.

The guidance provided in the travel advisory of June 22, 2023 remains valid.  U.S. citizen residents and travelers should continue to exercise increased caution throughout the country, should reconsider travel to areas marked as “Level 3,” and should not travel to areas marked as “Level 4” in the advisory.  U.S. citizens should comply with all local laws, including the nationwide curfew during the announced state of emergency.  U.S. citizens should be aware that individuals not connected with criminal organizations may use the current conflict to commit crimes of opportunity.

International airports in Quito and Guayaquil remain fully operational, however carriers cancelled some flights to/from the United States in recent and in coming days.  Travelers should monitor their flight status closely, and work to rebook with the same airline or another carrier.

Actions to Take:

  • Read previous security alerts at
  • Check your flight status for airports in Quito and Guayaquil.
  • Monitor ECU911 for information on road closures.
  • Track official communications from the Government of Ecuador for additional information and updates to the State of Emergency.
  • Follow credible media sources for accurate information on current threats and violent activity.
  • Review the Travel Advisory and safety and security information for Ecuador at Travel.State.Gov.
  • Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates.
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

U.S. Embassy Quito, Ecuador
+(593)(2) 398-5000<tel:+59323985000>
+(593)(2) 398-5000<tel:+59323985000> (after hours)

U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil, Ecuador
+(593)(4) 371-7000<tel:+59343717000>
+(593)(4) 371-7000<tel:+59343717000> (after hours)