U.S. issues travel warning for Colombia

Feb. 22, 2012 at 10:02 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. citizens are reminded of the dangers of traveling to Colombia despite improvements in security measures there, the U.S. State Department said.

The State Department, in a travel advisory, said narco-terrorist groups continue to pose a threat to national security in Colombia.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia was blamed for two minor attacks on Bogota last year.

The advisory stated that security has improved "significantly" in recent years but narco-terrorist groups like FARC and the National Liberation Army are lingering threats.

"Terrorist activity remains a threat throughout the country," the advisory read.

It added that most narco-terrorist groups routinely use kidnapping as "a political bargaining chip."

"No one is immune from kidnapping on the basis of occupation, nationality, or other factors," the warning read. "Kidnapping in rural areas is of particular concern."

In early February, the State Department issued a similar travel warning for Mexico. The warning said more than 12,000 deaths were linked to the Mexican drug cartels last year.

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