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Caution Advised for Guatemala City Visits : World Travel Watch is a monthly report designed to help you make informed judgments about travel. Because conditions can change overnight, always make your own inquiries before you leave home. For more information on safety concerns in countries you may be visiting, contact the Citizens Emergency Center, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20520, (202) 647-5225.

June 07, 1992|LARRY HABEGGER and JAMES O'REILLY | Habegger and O'Reilly are free-lance writers based in San Francisco. and

CENTRAL AMERICA Guatemala: A rash of bombings and bomb threats in Guatemala City in recent weeks has prompted the government to threaten to impose a state of emergency. According to news reports, as many as 100 false alarms a day have raised tensions, and fears of a military coup appear to be rising. Exercise caution and check with the U.S. Embassy upon arrival in Guatemala City for the latest developments.

El Salvador: Expect inconveniences. An energy crisis due to two years of low rainfall is causing electrical power to be turned off throughout the country for eight hours a day, an interval that could soon increase to 12 hours. According to Salvadoran government officials, it's the most serious energy crisis the country has experienced in 50 years.

SOUTH AMERICA Colombia: Many parts of the country are experiencing daily power outages, and violent crime has increased significantly at night in urban areas as a result of the blackouts. According to the U.S. Department of State, regions to be avoided include all of Antioquia Department; most of the north coast except for the major tourist areas of Santa Marta, Barranquilla, Cartagena and San Andres; the northern half of Choco Department; the Magdelena River Valley south to Tolima; rural Valle de Cauca Department and most of the Cauca River Valley, and Tolima Department, south of Espinal.

Suriname: Night travel outside the major cities of Paramaribo and Nieuw Nickerie should be avoided, and travel into the interior, particularly on the road between Zanderij and Apura, should be attempted only by those familiar with the country.

EUROPE Albania: Street crime against foreigners has increased in urban areas, especially muggings, pickpocketings and robberies. Be cautious on city streets, especially at night. Avoid political rallies, which have turned violent in the past, and refrain from photographing them.

Commonwealth of Independent States: Non-essential travel to Tajikistan should be avoided due to ongoing demonstrations and clashes between opposing political groups, especially in the capital city of Dushanbe. Road blocks are commonplace and large-scale confrontrations are a possibility. Fuel shortages continue to disrupt flight schedules.

All travel to Armenia and Azerbaijan should be avoided due to ongoing and escalating conflict between the two regions over the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh inside Azerbaijan.

ASIA India: Travel to the Punjab region should be deferred due to ongoing separatist violence. Incidents related to this violence have occurred in the last few months in the northwestern foothills and north-central Terai regions of Uttar Pradesh. Travel in these areas should be avoided. Travel to Kashmir should be avoided due to ongoing tensions and occasional terrorist activities.

AFRICA Malawi: Travelers should exercise caution. There was civil unrest and a severe government crackdown in early May in the southern city of Blantyre, where at least 38 civilians were killed by police. Unrest has also occurred in the capital city of Lilongwe. Nigeria: Defer travel to Nigeria. Severe unrest occurred in May in several regions of the country. Anti-government riots took place in Lagos, and violent demonstrations were also reported in Nsukka city, 312 miles east. Road traffic around Lagos was disrupted and access to the international airport was restricted. Sectarian strife killed at least 200 people over three days in the city of Kaduna,, and dozens were killed in the towns of Zonkwa and Zango Kataf Sierra Leone: Avoid travel here due to the ongoing civil war and related strife. The State Department has ordered all non-essential personnel and their dependents out of the country and is advising other Americans to leave.

Tanzania: Travelers may now enter Tanzania even though they have South African visas or immigration stamps in their passports.

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