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Security Messages for U.S. Citizens

Update Regarding Police Strike in Salvador, Bahia

U.S. Consulate General, Rio de Janeiro – February 6, 2012

This message is to update U.S. citizens about security concerns in Salvador, Bahia and surrounding areas stemming from a state-wide work stoppage by the Military Police in the State of Bahia. 

Brazilian national security forces were deployed into Salvador on the morning of Friday, February 3.  Nevertheless, the homicide rate in Salvador reportedly has risen significantly during the past week.  In addition, there have been reports of significant increases in the rates of property crimes, including lootings and car thefts.  All private schools in Salvador were closed on Monday, February 6.  Public schools remained open, but report very low attendance.

As of Monday morning, February 6, Brazilian national security forces had surrounded the state legislative building in Salvador with orders to arrest leaders of the striking Military Police.  The siege of the legislative building creates a risk of violence.  U.S. citizens are strongly advised to avoid the area around the legislative assembly building, which is located in the “Paralela” area between the airport and downtown Salvador.

U.S. citizens should continue to monitor media reports about security conditions in Salvador and the State of Bahia and should consider delaying any non-essential travel to those areas until security conditions have stabilized.

U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Brazil are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to receive the most up-to-date security information.  By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.  U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General.  The U.S. Consulate General in Rio is located at Avenida Presidente Wilson, 147 and can be reached at phone number 21-3823-2000, emergency after-hours phone number 21-3823-2029, American Citizen Services fax number 21-3823-2093, and e-mail acsrio@state.gov.  Travelers may also consult the website of the U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro for more information. 

U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Brazil  which is located on the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs website.  Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website which contains current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook, and download our Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.