On 8 November 2023, the U.S. Embassy in Bogota issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows: “The Embassy advises U.S. citizens to maintain a high level of security awareness and take extra safety precautions while transiting the city throughout the November 9-12 Independence Day festivities. An increase in petty theft is expected, along with the potential for ad hoc non-police checkpoints and confrontations for money and/or valuables. The Embassy recommends that U.S. citizen avoid areas/neighborhoods east of Centro Commercial Caribe Plaza. Pay extra precaution if you need to drive through these areas as many illegal road blockages can be found on the streets to ask for money. Stay on main routes only, avoid large crowds, and avoid confrontations with festival participants. There have been reports of individuals manning blockades and throwing paint or rocks at vehicles who do not contribute coins as they pass. The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens visiting Colombia of the potential for interaction with criminals using scopolamine or other drugs to temporarily incapacitate unsuspecting victims and then rob or assault them. Victims of scopolamine-related crimes are often targeted in bars, night clubs, or through dating apps. Avoid leaving food or drinks unattended at a bar or restaurant, and refuse offers of something to eat or drink from a stranger. The Embassy also reminds U.S. citizens visiting Colombia that U.S. government employees are prohibited from hailing taxis on the street due to the risk of assault or robbery. U.S. citizens have been killed during robberies while using taxis. Use a dispatch service or cell phone app whenever possible.”