Amnesty International, along with Uruguay and Venezuela, joined a growing list of travel warnings for foreign citizens planning U.S. visits; all cited a high level of gun violence following the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
“Travelers to the United States should remain cautious that the country does not adequately protect people’s right to be safe, regardless of who they might be. People in the United States cannot reasonably expect to be free from harm – a guarantee of not being shot is impossible,” said Ernest Coverson, campaign manager for the End Gun Violence Campaign at Amnesty International USA. “Once again, it is chillingly clear that the U.S. government is unwilling to ensure protection against gun violence.”
The travel advisory addressed growing gun violence, mostly hate crimes, including racism and discrimination, highlighting that the traveler’s race, country of origin, ethnic background, sexual orientation or gender identity may place them at higher risk after recent attacks linked to white supremacist ideology.
- Amnesty International issued their warning August 7 “in light of ongoing high levels of gun violence” in the U.S.
- The Venezuelan government said in a Monday statement that “proliferation of acts of violence and hate crimes” should lead citizens to postpone or take precautions with U.S. trips.
- Calling Americans’ gun possession “inexcusable” and “indiscriminate,” Venezuela specifically advised travelers to avoid Detroit, Baltimore, and Oakland, California.
- Uruguay likewise cautioned its travelers Monday, referencing “growing indiscriminate violence” in the U.S.
- In January, the State Department said no one should travel to Venezuela, due to “civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, and arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens.”
- As for Uruguay, the State Department increased its travel advisory on August 2 from Level 1 to Level 2, citing an increase in crime.
- The Japanese consulate in Detroit called the U.S. a “gun society” Sunday and told its local residents to “be aware of the potential for gunfire incidents everywhere in the United States.”
— amnestypress (@amnestypress) August 7, 2019
What to watch for: Other countries following suit. And any impact on U.S. tourism. It took months for Orlando to recover after the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, and a year for Las Vegas following the 2017 music festival shooting.
Venezuela, which has been the focus of multiple State Department travel warnings, advises its citizens to avoid visiting the US due to threat of mass shootings. Blames the “supremacist elite in Washington” for the phenomenon. pic.twitter.com/bpMlEiHTsh
— Joshua Goodman (@APjoshgoodman) August 5, 2019
Key background: This isn’t the first example of foreign countries issuing warnings about gun violence in the U.S. Canada, Germany, France, Ireland and New Zealand have all done so, according to the Washington Post. And nine foreign citizens–eight Mexican and one German–were killed in the El Paso shooting that claimed 22 lives. As of 2009, the U.S. gun homicide rate was 33 per 1 million people, which is above average compared to other developed countries.