Colombia Protests: Tips for Foreigners to Stay Safe During Protests
On November 21, 2019 there are nationwide strikes and protests in Colombia. We look at reasons for Colombia protests and tips for foreigners to stay safe.

Colombia Protests: Tips for Foreigners to Stay Safe During Protests

On November 21, 2019 there were nationwide strikes and protests in Colombia. We look at the reasons for Colombia protests and tips for foreigners to stay safe.

Potentially millions in Colombia took to the streets on November 21 in protest over the government’s economic policies.

Many Medellin Guru readers asked about the reasons for these protests and if they should stay home on this day. So, we look at some of the reasons for these protests and provide some tips for foreigners to stay safe during these protests in Colombia.

Editors note: national protests continued for two months in Colombia after the first nationwide protest on November 21 and we have updated this article multiple times.

See our January 21 update below for protest locations in Medellín on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.

Bogotá student protest in 2018, photo by Colombia Informa

Bogotá student protest in 2018, photo by Colombia Informa

Reasons for the Colombia Protests

The date of the national strike on November 21, was set early in November by trade unions, student organizations, opposition parties, state educators and groups representing indigenous communities who are opposed to the economic reforms of the Duque government in Colombia.

Recent mass demonstrations in Colombia by students protesting corruption in public universities, helped the paro nacional (national strike) scheduled on November 21 gain momentum.

A corruption scandal involving a credit card and a Netflix account sparked a recent wave of student protests in Colombia. Two university officials at Universidad Distrital were accused of embezzling more about $3 million USD with a public university credit card account between 2012 and 2019.

The scandal shed light on ongoing corruption at universities in Colombia. Also, students have been protesting to demand that the Colombian government comply with its agreement that guarantees an additional 4.5 billion COP for higher education in the budget.

In addition, a Congressional inquest into the aerial bombardment on August 29 of a FARC dissident camp that resulted in the deaths of 11 combatants and 8 children added fuel to the protest movement. The alleged cover-up of the deaths involving minors illegally recruited by dissidents forced the resignation of the Defense Minister Guillermo Botero last month.

Furthermore, the deaths of over 800 human rights activists, social leaders and demobilized FARC combatants from January 2016 to May 2019 including over 230 social leaders since Duque became president has resulted in ongoing criticism of the Duque administration by left-wing parties and movements. And these deaths provide another reason for protesting.

During the nationwide strike, Colombian students, farmers and workers will also reject government initiatives such as the proposal to reduce the salary of young people up to 75 percent of the minimum wage, plans to eliminate public contributions to the pension system and attempts to privatize companies.

The nationwide protest in Colombia has multiple reasons with many participants, which makes this essentially a major protest against the Colombian government.

Police in Medellín, photo by National Police of Colombia

Police in Medellín, photo by National Police of Colombia

What Are the Security Measures for the Colombia Protests?

The government of Colombia has enacted tough security measures to guarantee public safety during the nationwide protests on Thursday, November 21.

This includes a decree that gives mayors and governors “extraordinary powers” to ban liquor sales, restrict the carrying of weapons, and declare a curfew.  In Antioquia where Medellín is located, there is a ban on liquor sales from 11:59 pm on Wednesday, November 20 until 8:00 pm. on November 21.

In addition, Colombia’s Armed Forces have been placed on high alert for Thursday’s protests with 8,000 soldiers reportedly deployed to Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Bucaramanga, Pereira and Pasto.

For example, in Medellín, the Colombian Army will provide support to Medellín’s Metropolitan Police to protect the Medellín Metro and other transportation infrastructure. On Wednesday, November 20, higher levels of security can be already be seen in some of the metro stations in Medellín.

Furthermore, the Colombian government will close all its overland border crossings at midnight on Tuesday, November 20, to prevent foreigners from infiltrating the protest marches. The borders will be closed until 5 am on Friday, November 22.

Where Are the Protests in Colombia on November 21?

The biggest Colombia protests will be seen in the biggest cities in Colombia including Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Bucaramanga, Pereira and Pasto. Millions are expected to participate in the nationwide protests in Colombia on November 21.

In Bogotá, the protest marches will start at about 9 am in the following locations before heading to Plaza de Bolívar.

  • Gobernación de Cundinamarca: Avenida El Dorado with Calle 51
  • Universidad Nacional: Avenida El Dorado with Cra 30
  • Parque Nacional: Carrera 7 with Calle 39
  • Sevillana: Calle 30 Sur with Carrera 34
  • San Juan de Dios: Avenida Caracas with Calle 9
  • Chicó: Calle 100 with Carrera 11

In Medellín, the protest marches will start at many locations as early as 6 am and have different routes in the city as seen in the following map from the Medellín Mayor’s office.

Map showing routes for November 21 protest marches in Medellín, courtesy of the Medellín Mayor's office

Map showing routes for November 21 protest marches in Medellín, courtesy of the Medellín Mayor’s office

The local Colombian news in other cities in Colombia will have stories (in Spanish) about where protests will be located in other cities.

Tips for Foreigners to Stay Safe During Protests

These are expected to be huge nationwide protests in Colombia with hundreds of thousands expected to participate.

The protesters in Colombia have repeatedly said their protests are planned to be peaceful. But with so many protesters and many police and military working to maintain order, it is possible that some of the protests may become violent.

For example, recently in Ecuador and Chile, protests became violent. And in September and October in 2019, student protests in Bogotá turned violent.

Here are four tips for foreigners to stay safe during these protests:

  • Stay away from the protests – these protests are NOT tourist attractions, as some foreigners I talked to recently seem to think. You are taking some risk participating in these protests or going to take photos. The above map of the protest marches for Medellín provides an easy way to determine where the protests are located. Stay safe by staying away from these areas.
  • Stay at home during the day – if you want to watch the protests, stay at home and watch on the news. The protest marches also disrupt transportation in the big cities in Colombia. So, if you don’t have to go out, simply stay at home and be safe. Also, some businesses in Colombia close during protests.
  • If you go to the protests bring ID and follow police orders – if you decide to go see the protests or participate, keep in mind that Colombian law requires people to carry ID. So, bring your ID or a photocopy. The marches are expected to be huge with a big police presence. Make sure to follow the orders of police that are trying to maintain order. And follow our Colombia safety tips.
  • Is it safe to go out at night? – it depends. The protest marches are scheduled during the day and are expected to end by late afternoon. We recommend watching the news to make sure the protests have ended before going out. Some Medellín events have been scheduled on protest days and a few were canceled in the past. So, if going to an event on a day of protests make sure the event isn’t cancelled.

Aftermath of the Protests – November 25 Update

In the aftermath of the national strike in Colombia, which drew out large crowds in every Colombian city, three cities took the day leading by example: Medellín, Barranquilla and Pasto. In all three cities, the marches started out peacefully and ended peacefully at night. The protests have continued in some cities in Colombia but are mostly small, with the major exception of Bogotá.

The protests on November 21 turned violent in both Bogotá and Cali. In Cali, protesters blocked roads and vandalized mass transit buses, and the mayor called for a curfew.

In Bogotá, 68 stations of the Transmilenio transport system were attacked, as well as 66 buses. In addition, the Capitol (which houses both houses of Congress), the Palace of Justice and the Liévano Palace, which is headquarters of the City Hall were attacked. Police in Bogotá had to deploy teargas to disperse protestors.

In addition, the protests continued for several days in Bogotá and the mayor had to resort to curfews to calm things down. And on Monday, November 25, Bogotá braced for the fifth day of protests.

According to the figures released by Bogotá’s Personería (Ombudsman) – 120 civilians have gone to medical facilities Bogotá for injuries sustained during the last four days of protests. And Colombia’s National Police also suffered high numbers of injuries with 182 members reportedly attacked in the line of duty since Thursday’s “day of peaceful protest” in Bogotá turned violent.

November 26 Update

Protest leaders in Colombia called for a general strike after talks with President Ivan Duque failed to encounter a breakthrough. At least four people have been killed in the conflict with police, including an 18-year-old student that drove protesters back to the streets.

So, widespread government protests continued in Bogotá for a sixth day in a row on November 26. And larger protests spread to Medellín in the afternoon on Tuesday after several days of relative calm in Medellín.

Protests in Medellín blocked some roads in the afternoon on Tuesday and caused chaos with traffic not moving in some areas in Medellín for an extended period. And the protests in Medellín and the Aburrá valley went on from 3 pm to 8 pm at several locations on Tuesday.

Reportedly, Colombian unions and student groups will hold another protest on Wednesday in honor of the teenage demonstrator who died after being injured by a tear gas canister.

The protests on Wednesday, November 27, in Medellín start at 8 am at entrances to the Palace of Justice (Palacio de Justicia) (Alpujarra) and at 9 am the protests will at the Alpujarra government complex in El Centro.

And at 1:00 pm in Parque de las Luces, there will be a rally to reject the acts of violence that occurred in the demonstrations and the confrontations with Escuadrón Móvil Antidisturbios de la Policía (ESMAD riot police). Teachers will join students and workers at Parque de los Deseos at 3:30 pm with a march to Parque de El Salvador in Buenos Aires.

And additional protests in Medellín on Wednesday are scheduled at 5:00 pm in Parque Juanes de la Paz in Castilla and Parque Belén in Belén, 6:00 pm in Parque de Los Deseos and Parque El Poblado and 7:00 at Parque de La Milagrosa and Parque Principal of Itagüí and at 8:00 pm at the Mayor’s Office of Envigado.

November 28 Update

The protests in Colombia continue on Thursday, November 28, in several cities in Colombia including Bogotá and Medellín.

According to information from the Medellín Metropolitan Police, the following are location for protests on November 28 in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley:

  • Protest and march at the La Estrella metro station at 4:40 am
  • Protest and march in the main park of Copacabana at 6:00 am
  • Protest and march at the roundabout of Avenida San Juan with Avenida 80 at 6:00 am
  • Protest by students at the Poblado metro station and Politécnico Jaime Isaza Cadavid at 3:00 pm
  • Protest at Parque de Las Luces in El Centro at 6:00 pm
  • Protest at the Madura metro station at 6:30 pm

December 3 Update

Nationwide protests return to Colombia on Wednesday, December 4 against the social and economic policies of President Ivan Duque.

On Monday, the Colombia government asked the unions and student groups that make up the National Strike Committee to call off the Wednesday protest and agree to a dialogue with the government. But the head of the Central Union of Workers (CUT) responded “We are not going to suspend the strike, the order to strike tomorrow Wednesday, December 4, is maintained.”

The following is the schedule of protests in Medellín on Wednesday, December 4:

  • 7 am – Protesters start near Jardín Botánico and march along Carrera Carabobo to Calle Barranquilla and arrive at Punto Cero, where they will meet with students.
  • 7 am – Students from public universities (Nacional, Antioquia, ITM, Colegio Mayor, Pascual Bravo y Tecnológico de Antioquia) will meet at Punto Cero at 7:00 a.m. and an hour later they will march to Minorista and Avenida Ferrocarril to the entrance of Sena where more protesters will join.
  • 9 to 10 am – Marchers will advance towards the Parque de las Luces, where they will arrive between 9 am and 10 am.
  • 10 am – Protesters from Itagüí, Caldas, San Antonio de Prado and Sabaneta meet in Parque Envigado and march to Parque El Poblado in El Poblado. And after arriving at Parque El Poblado, protesters will continue down Calle 10 to Avenida Las Vegas and head north.
  • 4 pm to 5 pm – Protesters are expected to arrive at Ciudad del Río, where a concentration with cultural and musical activities is scheduled.

December 10 Update

On Tuesday, December 10, national protests continue in Colombia, which have been going on for just over three weeks. Since November 21, hundreds of thousands of people in Colombia from all backgrounds have been marching to protest in large and small cities and even in rural areas. Colombia hasn’t seen such protests in several decades.

In Medellín, on December 10, the protests start at 1 pm at Parque de las Luces in El Centro and the protestors will march to Parque de los Deseos arriving at about 4:30 pm where there will be a concert called “symphonic pan”. The protests on December 10 in Medellín appear to only impact areas in El Centro.

December 21 Update – More Protests on December 22

The mobilizations for the national strike, which began on November 21, continue in Medellín on Sunday, December 22. More than 40 local and national artists will join in a new day called #MedellínResisteCantando.

These protests on Sunday are three cultural caravans that will travel through different areas of the city until they reach La Alpujarra. Iconic local groups such as Tr3s of Heart, Alcolirykoz, Altered States, Crudo will be part of the tour/march to protest peacefully.

The organizers of the protest describe Sunday’s protest as a platform where musical and performing artists can express their positions and opinions in the discontent that unemployment represents.

The marches will leave at 9:00 on Sunday from three points in Medellín: Cementerio de San Javier, parque de los Deseos and Parque El Poblado with routes as follows:

  • Cementerio de San Javier (in Commune 13) – will go down the Avenida San Juan (44th street) to tthe 80th roundabout to head north to La Floresta . From there continue until carrera 70 until San Juan and from there continue to La Alpujarra.
  • Parque de los Deseos – for those north of the city where they will mobilize along the Carabobo sector, going up calle Barranquilla Street to Carrera 50. From there, the route goes along Avenida Oriental to Parque Boston, then down Avenida La Playa to Girardot to Avenida San Juan to La Alpujarra.
  • Parque del Poblado, in the south, go down Calle 10 and take the 65th to La Alpujarra.

January 21, 2020 Update

Tuesday, January 21, 2020, the national strike in Colombia resumes its activities after a break during the holidays. The Comité Departamental del Paro Nacional has extended through its social networks, the invitation for a protest march that will travel through a few routes in Medellín, starting at 9 am.

At 9 am, protestors will concentrate on two meeting points. One is at Parque de los Deseos in El Centro. This group will cross Avenida Ferrocarril and pass in front of Sena to reach Parque de las Luces. The second meeting point is at the intersection of San Juan Avenue with Carrera 65. This second group of protestors will cross the river to reach Parque de las Luces.

Both protest groups will meet at 10 am at Parque de las Luces in El Centro, in front of the Alpujarra, and march together along Avenida Industriales to Parque del Poblado. At 5 pm, there will be a cacerolazo there.  A cacerolazo is a protest which consists of a group of people making noise by banging pots, pans, and other utensils in order to call for attention. There were no protests scheduled south of Parque del Poblado.

The protest on January 21 in Medellín was different than the past, which were mainly peaceful protests. On January 21, along the protest route some vandalism was done with graffiti painted on some banks, metro bus stations and other businesses. There were reportedly four detainees, two policemen injured, walls and glass with graffiti and journalists assaulted.

Also, Esmad, the riot police, were called out in El Poblado  due to attempts to damage property, such as the nearby Dann Carlton hotel and attempts to incinerate a police motorcycle.

Medellin Guru’s Safety and Security Series

Safety is the biggest concern of foreigners visiting Colombia or planning to move to Colombia. So, we have a series of 15 popular articles about safety and security in Colombia:

  1. Is Colombia Safe? Colombia Security and Safety Tips
  2. Is Medellín Safe? Medellín Security and Safety Tips
  3. What are the Safest Neighborhoods in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley
  4. Medellín Robbery: Expat Experience Being Robbed at Knifepoint
  5. Colombia Gun Laws: Is it Legal to Have a Gun in Colombia?
  6. Scopolamine: The Realities of Devil’s Breath in Colombia
  7. Colombia Protests: Tips for Foreigners to Stay Safe During Protests
  8. Is Bogotá Safe? Bogotá Security and Safety Tips
  9. Is Cartagena Safe? Cartagena Security and Safety Tips
  10. Is Cali Safe? Cali, Colombia Security and Safety Tips
  11. Is Santa Marta Safe? Santa Marta Security and Safety Tips
  12. Is Pereira Safe? Pereira, Colombia Security and Safety Tips
  13. Is Manizales Safe? Manizales Security and Safety Tips
  14. Is Bucaramanga Safe? Bucaramanga Security and Safety Tips
  15. Is Barranquilla Safe? Barranquilla Security and Safety Tips
Educator protest in Bogotá in 2017, photo by Baiji

Educator protest in Bogotá in 2017, photo by Baiji

The Bottom Line: Colombia Protests: Tips for Foreigners to Stay Safe During Protests

The Colombia protests on November 21 were huge with hundred of thousands participating. This nationwide protest in Colombia has multiple reasons with many participants, which essentially makes this a major protest against the Colombian government.

You can easily stay safe from these protests by simply staying home during days of protests. Plus you will avoid the disruptions of transportation that are expected in the biggest cities in Colombia.

The bottom line, if you don’t have to go out on the days of protests, stay safe and stay home. And if you do go out take extra precautions and try to stay away from the protest marches.

Protests are fairly common in Colombia and in other countries in Latin America. There have been many protests in Colombia and Medellín in my over 8 years living in Medellín. And I have never encountered a problem but I stay away from these protests.

Sign up for the Free Medellin Guru Newsletter – You can see all of the previous Medellin Guru weekly email newsletters and sign up here.

Editors note: updated on November 25, 2019 with information about the aftermath of the the protests in Colombia on November 21.

Editors note: updated on November 26 2019 with updates on the protests in Colombia.

Editors note: updated on November 28, 2019 with information about protest locations in Medellín on November 28.

Editors note: updated on December 3, 2019 with information about protest locations in Medellín on December 4.

Editors note: updated on December 10, 2019 with information about protest locations in Medellín on December 10.

Editors note: updated on December 21, 2019 with information about protest locations in Medellín on December 22.

Editors note: updated on January 21, 2020 with information about protest locations in Medellín on January 21 and information about vandalism during the protests.

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48 thoughts on “Colombia Protests: Tips for Foreigners to Stay Safe During Protests”

    1. I pray for needed change to fix this situation.
      1. Raise the mininim wage to 1.25 – 1.50 million pesos per month.
      2. Regime change in Venezuela to allow migrants to return home so Colombians can regain the jobs that Venezuelans have gobbled up by working for half pay in many cases.
      Just those 2 items alone is a start to stabilizing this unfair and unbalanced situation.

    2. Barb – glad it went well for you

      latest news: Situation escalating in Bogota. Indigenous and their guards are in the central square. Today they threaten to occupy the Presidential Palace. So NOT going to Calle 10.

      also Musical Street Tour by top acts supporting the protests planned for Sunday morning. One of the venues is near my place, maybe can see or hear from a distance.

    3. Just came back from a week trip to Bogotá and Medellin and it was amazing. Saw a very peaceful demonstration from far away, that’s about it.

    4. We are all concerned. Just steer clear.

    5. Was in Bogota sunday and monday. Everything looked normal, at least from Chapinero along route to airport. quick trip to another country, return to Bogota this weekend. May go down to Calle 10 to observe.

    6. Victoria December 4, 2019

      I have the same worry. Traveling next Monday to Cartagena, Coffee Triangle and Medellin. Most worried about Medellin demonstrations.

    7. Hello Jeff,
      Thank you for this informative post,
      Me and my boyfriend are thinking about going to Columbia (end of nov beginning of dec 2019,
      Mainly on the caribean side (Cartagena to Santa Marta and the coffee triangle))
      But with all the protests going on we‘re not sure if this will give us a nice traveling experience…
      can you maybe tell us what you estimate for next month in Colombia ?

    8. Hi Jeff,

      I know it’s a crapshoot, but how likely do you think it is for the protests to spiral out of control?
      I’m looking at spending 3 months in Medellín February through April and was wondering if I should expect things to settle down or get worse.

      Thanks for your insight.

      • I believe the government will likely give into at least some demands and things will calm down. Things calmed down in Medellín after the first nationwide protest on Nov. 21 with just small protests on following days but protests became larger yesterday and today in Medellín in honor of the teenage demonstrator who died in Bogotá.

    9. Shocking video of robbing a supermarket. Had to search and translate many articles to find out what happened to the brave employees.


      This is in Bolivar barrio (neighborhood) in the south, one of the poorest areas

      Again, common sense – avoid poor areas.

      And government/military centers. Unfortunate as I wanted to scout La Candeleria area (Calle 10), taking my children here next summer to see the Art & Gold Museum and take the tram up to Monserrate.

      Ron, where you you live? My condo is in Marly (Upper class area which should be safer and less affected)
      Not cancelling travel but making plans for safety and stay inside.

      • I live in Laureles. I have learned that no neighborhood is immune to the thievery that exists here. Be mindful of your environment and keep an eye out for boys in their 20s on motos looking for victims. That is their job to steal and pillage. Lazy punks looking for easy money. Also avoid using your cell phone on the street or in a taxi as that is what these boys are focusing on. I dont go out nearly as much as I used to and mainly visit my local mall. I avoid downtown and have completely stopped going there after having my cell phone taken from me at knifepoint and had my jaw broken by a thief. This was a much safer.city but now with high unemployment and huge amounts of impoverished and desperate migrants flocking here it has tranformed the city into a very unstable and dangerous place especially now before Christmas. I have lived here on and off for over 45 years and have never felt so vulnerable as I do today. Hypervigilance is required to protect yourself from becoming a statistic. Life is cheap here.

      • Sorry Ron, looked up Parque Berrio – its the big plaza with the Cathedral in Medellin, and the area is also called La Candeleria! saludos

        • Basílica Menor de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria (aka Iglesia de La Candelaria) is the name of the church next to Parque Berrio, see: https://medellinguru.com/iglesia-de-la-candelaria/

          La Candelaria is the name of Comuna 10 (aka El Centro)in Medellín where Parque Berrio is located. Parque Berrio also has a metro station and has a constant police presence due to being one of the high crime areas in El Centro.

    10. Great article Jeff,

      I read in some information about being a resident, that residents were forbidden to become involved in any government protest or problems.

      Has that changed?

      • It is always a good ides for a visitor to mind ones own business and not become involved in other peoples affairs. If you want to become involved obtain citizenship and and vote and become involved with civic organizations or run for office. Involving oneself in politics is very noble and civic minded. I for one will apply for citizenship next year. Until then I avoid sticking my nose into other peoples affairs until I have obtained the legal right to do so. Help those in need is what I do passively its my contribution to the gross inequalities that exists in this very complicated and corrupt environment. Be safe and avoid sticking your nose into politics here until you have earned the right. Who needs trouble. We certainly do not.

    11. it seems that this time it is different and it wont calm down easily…
      without reform…

    12. True, a lot of it is stuff that mass media and government don’t want you to know, but essential to be aware of. Another English site is TheBogotaPost.com, not much though and only 2 articles on the protest, a day later.

    13. Gabriel Bierwirth November 22, 2019

      Hello, I am traveling to Bogota for work. I will be there for 1 month starting the 25 of November. Will it be okay by then? I am glad Colombia is fighting back, but a bit worried for my safety as well.

      • Most of Colombia returned to calm after the protest day on November 21.

        However, in Bogotá and Cali there are new sources of violence on Thursday. On the southern highway of Bogotá there are clashes between protesters and authorities in the news. And vandals took a bus and authorities try to recover it. Also, there are still clashes between the public forces and marchers in Cali. There are closed MIO stations in Cali and the downtown merchants in Cali closed their businesses.

        For updates, we recommend checking the local news in Spanish in Colombia such as https://www.eltiempo.com/.

      • Hola Gabriel,
        I’m going to be in Bogota and stay for a week (to keep visa under 180 days to next trip in June)

        Hope things settle down by then. Here are photos, I recognize many of the places… at least banks and many shops are near where I live so I don’t have to go far. Maybe order by Rappi.


      • Refer to U.S. state department travel warnings for accurate and honest warnings. Register yourself in case of emergency.

    14. I am traveling here in a week. WIll things be calmed down by then?

      • These nationwide protests in Colombia are just today. In Medellín, the protests were essentially peaceful and are slowly disbanding now. In Bogotá and Cali there was some violence reported in the news.

        And the news reported earlier today that all the airports in Colombia are operating normally.

      • You should be ok. Stay away from downtown is a smart choice. Especially Parque Berrio. Stay tuned to US state department briefings. Remember this is not DisneyWorld. It is Colombia, South America.

    15. Thanks very much Jeff. I was wondering what the protests were all about. You have clarified many things. I am sending calming energies to the Colombian people for a peaceful day!

    16. If one supports the cause then no one should dictate to them to stay at home, otherwise their free speech and expression will end up as watered down like in the USA where free speech is a joke simply cuz “you tell ‘“em what the “want” to hear, not what they “need” to hear, which is pretty much useless
      I am glad the people in Colombia are not taking it laying down and standing up for their rights by taking it to the streets unlike how people in USA have rolled over and allowed the system to screw them over

      • To a large extent Jeff is providing this information to those who are foreigners in Colombia many of whom lack even basic knowledge about the situation and the lay of the land. Personally, as a mere guest here, I feel that when it comes to the internal affairs of Colombia it would be best for me to avoid political strife in the streets. I didn’t hide at home though and the good hearted souls of this country were in my thoughts throughout the day.

        • You are so right. Many are living in the dark without a clue as to what’s really going on here. Very sad to see that so many of us expats live in denial.

        • Also as a guest (tourist) or resident, we generally are not allowed to get involved in a country’s political matters. Can lose visa or be deported. Personal safety comes first, especially if your Español is limited.

          Its good that we have Jeff to help us be aware and understand.

    17. Jeff…You have done a great service by publishing these important facts about the harsh realities of life here, and the marches planned for today. There is much about this place that is wonderous and delightful. There are many serious challanges facing Colombians and expats today that require our scrutiny and sobriety in order to determine if we are safe to continue to live in this rapidly changing country. Migrant influx in the millions is having a grossly negative impact on the stability of Medellin and Colombia as a whole, turning this place into a pressure cooker. Lets all stay safe today and reflect on the real reasons people will risk their lives and limbs today standing tall againt unfairness and oppression and greed and thievery. Colombians and their neighbors throughout South America are facing a growing awareness of hard cold realities and facts that cannot be ignored indefinitely. I pray for positive changes that will create greater equality and prosperity and a true sense of safety and security that we all deserve. God Bless Colombia and the wonderful people here.

    18. Thanks, perfect timing for this article and good advice.

    19. Gracias, Jeff! Timely and practical advice

    20. Nice post and thanks for the common sense tips. I do not understand why anyone would want to take the risk to go see these protests to take photos.

      • Hopefully all of us here who are following the recent violent protests that have taken place in Chile and Venezuela and Bolivia and Peru will realize these are times to steer clear of angry mobs and civilians who are unpredictable in their actions to obtain meaninful change and vent their anger and frustrations in destructive ways. Staying home today makes sense.

      • M.whitfield November 25, 2019

        Our group has cancelled our 7 day trip for Thanksgiving this year because of these protests and violence. While I have read that Poblado has yet to be attacked it’s still a long way to and from Rio Negro and just to risky at this time. Most of us have no refundable airfare and it just sucks that the leftists always ruin a good thing!!

        • The protests were peaceful in Medellín and did not have the violence of the protests seen in Bogotá or Cali.

          Three cities took the day leading by example: Medellín, Barranquilla and Pasto. In all three cities, the protest marches that started peacefully in the morning on Thursday, ended peacefully at night, punctuated by many acts of valor, civility and repudiation by demonstrators to acts of vandalism. See: https://thecitypaperbogota.com/news/medellin-barranquilla-pasto-colombias-most-civic-cities-during-paro-nacional/23312?

          There were not attacks in Medellín, the protests were essentially peaceful and there were not issues with transport from the Medellín international airport during the big strike on Thursday or afterwards. And there were some smaller protests last night in Medellín in Laureles and Belén that were peaceful with no violence reported in the news.

          • Thank you for this update. We will not cancel our trip, we will be in Medellin on Saturday.

          • M.whitfield November 25, 2019

            A group vote decided on Cozumel (more expensive but all inclusive) so I will follow the groups decision. We are just going to err on the side of caution. Happy to hear Medellin has so far been spared from the leftist rage. I pray Colombia does not go the way of Venezuela!!

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