Security Alert – U.S. Embassy Quito, Ecuador (August 17, 2023)

Location:   Ecuador

Event:  Elections for the presidency, all members of the legislature, and a referendum on extractive activities in Ecuador will be held on Sunday, August 20, 2023.  President Lasso declared a nationwide State of Exception — which allows the military to support police operations and limits the freedom of assembly — following the August 9 Quito assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio. The State of Exception remains in force until Sunday, October 8, 2023.  Heavy police and military presence should be expected on election day and will be concentrated at polling sites.  Demonstrations 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 locations of the National Electoral Commission (CNE).

On August 20, 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.