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Cholera Epidemic Persists in Mexico : 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 06, 1993|LARRY HABEGGER and JAMES O'REILLY | Habegger and O'Reilly are San Francisco-based free-lance writers. and

Mexico/Central America

Mexico: The two-year cholera epidemic in Mexico shows no signs of ending, although no cases were reported among tourists in 1992. More than 1,000 people have been treated for the intestinal illness since the beginning of the year, and nearly 12,000 people have fallen ill with the disease since the epidemic began in June, 1991. The disease is most prevalent in poor southern states along the border with Guatemala. According to Mexican health officials, cholera is not present in luxury coastal resorts.

Guatemala: President Jorge Serrano was forced out of office by military leaders in Guatemala City on Tuesday, a week after he had suspended democratic rule. The government was turned over to civilian leaders, though it was unclear at press time who would govern the country. The situation is unpredictable. Travelers should avoid demonstrations and monitor local radio and television reports for current information, or call the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City for recorded information on security conditions: 011-502-2-31-15-37 or 011-502-2-34-84-77.

South America

Venezuela: The country is experiencing a political crisis following two coup attempts last year, widespread anti-government protests in recent months, and the judicial decision in May to prosecute President Carlos Andres Perez for embezzlement of government funds. Significant unrest is possible. Exercise caution and follow local press reports for updates on current conditions.


Egypt: An Egyptian border guard fired on a tour bus May 25, injuring five foreign tourists, after the bus failed to stop when ordered. It had been on its way to the Abu Simbel temple south of Aswan when it took a wrong turn into a closed military area. The incident follows a series of gun and bomb attacks on tourists, and underscores the high level of tension throughout the country. Travel in Egypt should be undertaken with caution.

Nigeria: Violence affecting foreigners has become a serious problem, especially in the capital of Lagos and southern Nigeria. Reports of armed muggings, assault, burglary, carjackings and extortion are widespread. According to the U.S. State Department, victims of carjackings or roadblock robberies are sometimes shot for no apparent reason. Police respond slowly, if at all, and seldom investigate crimes.

Rwanda: A cease-fire between government forces and rebels from Uganda is in effect and is generally being observed by both sides. However military checkpoints are in effect throughout the country, the country's famed mountain gorillas remain inaccessible to tourists, and the northern half of Kagera Game Park remains closed. Exercise caution.


India: The troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir remains volatile, with some 600 people killed in the first four months of this year in the conflict between Muslim separatists and Indian forces. Travel to the region of Kashmir is not advised, but some experienced travelers have reported that going to the capital city of Srinagar is not as risky as it seems, and that the area's many attractions, including Dal Lake, are accessible and uncrowded.

Tibet: Protests against Chinese rule flared May 24-25 in Lhasa, the worst since violent demonstrations in 1989 that led to a severe crackdown and more than a year of martial law. Travelers should avoid any such demonstrations.


Corsica: Two bombs badly damaged a travel agency's offices May 26 in the cities of Ajaccio and Bastia. A week earlier, the company's office in Paris had been attacked in similar fashion. The Corsican National Liberation Front (FNLC) claimed responsibility for the bombings which, according to a Reuters report, appear to represent a campaign against low-cost package tours from France to Corsica. The FNLC has been waging a 20-year battle against French colonization, through tourism, regularly attacking holiday homes belonging to mainland French citizens. Visitors should exercise caution on Corsica, but over the years few injuries have occurred because of such incidents. Northern Ireland: The IRA has escalated its campaign of terror, detonating four car bombs in four days, May 20-23. Almost 30 people were injured and millions of dollars in damage was done in Belfast, Magherafelt and Portadown. Travelers usually are unaffected by the violence in Northern Ireland, but there is no defense against such bombings. Exercise caution and follow local press reports for the latest information.

Former Soviet Republics

Tajikistan: According to the State Department, travel to Tajikistan should be avoided due to continuing fighting in border areas, unsettled conditions in some areas of the countryside, and the potential for terrorist actions in the capital city of Dushanbe, possibly targeted against Americans. A 10 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew is in effect in Dushanbe and is strictly enforced. The U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe is providing only emergency consular services.

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