Wild Frontiers/via REUTERS
- The State Department this week announced a new risk indicator for its public travel advisories.
- The new indicator, signaling a risk of kidnapping, has been added to the notices for 35 countries.
- Mexico, Haiti, and the Philippines are on the list.
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The US State Department announced this week it was adding a "K" indicator to its public travel advisories to let American travelers know where they could be at risk of getting kidnapped or taken hostage.
"The new ‘K’ indicator is part of our ongoing commitment to provide clear and comprehensive travel safety information to US citizens so they can make informed travel decisions," the department said.
The agency has four levels of travel that it uses to let Americans know what to expect in each country:
- Exercise normal precautions
- Exercise increased caution
- Reconsider travel
- Do not travel
Currently, 14 countries are designated "do not travel", nearly all because of ongoing armed conflicts.
The new "K" indicator comes days after the kidnapping of US tourist Kimberly Sue Endicott and her guide, Jean Paul, in Uganda by captors who demanded a $500,000 ransom. The pair was rescued by Ugandan security forces last weekend.
Endicott and Jean Paul were abducted near Uganda’s border with Congo. Since then, the State Department has added the "K" indicator to the travel advisories for those two countries and 33 others, all of which we’ve rounded up here.
Here’s a map of the 35 countries on the list:
Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
While some countries on this list are classified level one or two overall, many have areas within them where there is a higher chance of risks like kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and terrorism.
Afghanistan — Level 4: Do not travel
The State Department warns of crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and armed conflict.
Algeria — Level 2: Exercise increased caution
The State Department warns of terrorism and kidnapping in the Sahara Desert.
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