The Ecuadorian presidential election will be held on April 2 and may create the potential for violent protests. As a precautionary measure, the U.S. Embassy recommends all U.S. citizens avoid the area near the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) in Quito near the corner of Avenida Eloy Alfaro and Avenida 6 de Diciembre. Large numbers of people from opposing parties are expected to gather at this intersection and the surrounding area as early as Sunday afternoon, April 2, and possibly the subsequent days. The U.S. Embassy also recommends avoiding areas which have previously attracted protestors such as Avenida de los Shyris to the east of Parque Carolina and the Plaza Grande de la Independencia across from the Presidential Palace.
The U.S. Mission further recommends all U.S. citizens avoid the CNE area in Guayaquil beginning Sunday, April 2. Local law enforcement predicts protest activity in this area during and following elections. Police will close the area to normal traffic starting Friday, March 31. Please consider alternate routes if your usual route passes through the CNE vicinity. Spontaneous demonstrations may also spring up in other areas, and the U.S. Embassy recommends extra vigilance when moving about Ecuador for the week following the election.
The U.S. Embassy in Ecuador will continue to share information regarding the situation with the U.S. community. The U.S. Mission advises U.S. citizens to remain alert and informed via local news sources and the U.S. Embassy’s website at https://ec.usembassy.gov, and to follow instructions of local authorities.
This is also a good opportunity to review your personal emergency preparedness. If you accidentally enter an area with an ongoing demonstration, the best action is to turn around immediately and depart if possible. If that is not possible, take any prudent measures to protect your own personal safety and that of those accompanying you. If you are in your vehicle, stay inside, shut off the motor, and close/lock all doors and windows. Stay calm and remain in your vehicle as long as it remains safe to do so. If forced out of your vehicle or if suddenly enveloped by a demonstration while on foot, seek shelter or refuge from the demonstration in any available open building and wait for the crowd to disperse or move on and take advantage of any safe opportunity to depart the area. If you feel you are in imminent danger, contact local authorities by calling 911.
For further information about security in Ecuador:
· See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Ecuador Country Specific Information.
· Enroll in the Smart Traveler-Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
· Contact the U.S. Embassy in Quito located at Ave. Avigiras E12-170 y Ave. Eloy Alfaro, at +(593)(2) 398-5000. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +(593)(2) 398-5000.
· Contact the U.S. Consulate General in Guayaquil located at Santa Ana St. and Jose Rodriguez Bonin Ave., San Eduardo at + (593)(4) 371-7000. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is + (593) (4) 371-7000.
· Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
Dialing instructions within Ecuador:
· Within the same city and from a land line use the last seven digits.
· For calls from a mobile phone and for intercity telephone calls add the city code preceded by a 0.
Dialing instructions from the United States:
· Add the 011 prefix for an international long distance line.