Security Message for US Citizens
General Strike in Paraguay on 26 March 2014
Paraguayan trade unions have called for a general strike on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, starting at midnight. While the strike will be nationwide, Asuncion will likely be most affected. Trade unions, including transportation (public bus drivers and taxis) and teachers have made statements that they will join the strike. Other groups such as peasant farmers, political groups and other civil society groups have indicated they will support the strike. Strike organizers have announced that they will march to downtown Asuncion, and mount checkpoints at major intersections into Asuncion, as well as in certain parts of the country.
The National Police plan to be visible in large numbers throughout the city. In the past, the National Police and protesters have occasionally clashed, which has resulted in the use of tear gas and rubber bullets.
Although the strike and associated march are expected to be peaceful, the Embassy strongly recommends that you avoid the downtown area, the intended march route, and intersections where protesters plan to be present. If you find yourself near a demonstration or protest, you should immediately depart the area.
On Wednesday, March 26 protesters plan to gather at Seminario Metropolitano and then march to the city center. The intended route of the protestors is Avenida Kubitschek to Avenida Eusebio Ayala continuing to the city center. The protestors are expected to congregate in the Plaza de las Armas, in front of the congressional building downtown.
Protest Activity at Intersections:
Strike organizers have announced that they plan to protest at major city intersections, which may interfere with traffic. A list of the intersections is provided below. Maps of the route are available in local newspapers.
1. Ruta Transchaco y Semidei
2. Autopista y Madame Lynch
3. Mariscal López, a la altura del campus de la Universidad Nacional de Asunción.
4. Viaducto 4 Mojones
5. Ruta Mariscal Estigarribia, a la altura de la sede de la Universidad Nacional de Asunción.
6. Eusebio Ayala y Calle Última
7. Mariscal López y Perú
8. Félix Bogado y General Santos
American citizens should avoid driving through intersections with protesters, and should not at any time attempt to drive through an intersection that is being blocked by protesters. The National Police will have a presence at each of the intersections; however, protesters may still be able to interfere with traffic. You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Paraguay enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates and makes is easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Paraguay. For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.
Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free from within the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler App, available through iTunes and the Android market, to have travel information at your fingertips.
The U.S. Embassy in Asuncion is located at 1776 Mariscal Lopez Avenue.
U.S. Embassy Asuncion contact information:
Tel: 011-595 21-213-715
Emergency after hours: 011-595 21-213-715 extension 2210
Filed under: News from Paraguay