Viewing cable 06SANSALVADOR2849

06SANSALVADOR28492006-11-28 20:15:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy San Salvador

DE RUEHSN #2849/01 3322015
R 282015Z NOV 06
E.O. 12958: N/A 
REF: STATE 185082 
¶1. San Salvador grants Country Clearance for Geri Gilbert, Special 
Agent, International Programs Coordinator, Office of Enforcement and 
Compliance Assurance of EPA to visit San Salvador during the period 
December 11, 2006 through December 14, 2006 to participate in a 
CAFTA-DR Environmental Crimes Training Meeting. 
The Control Officer for this visit is Geoffrey Schadrack, Embassy 
phone number (503) 2278-4444, ext.2052 and Anne Dix, Embassy phone 
number (503) 2278-4444 ext. 1490.  The in country contact is Javier 
Jaquez of ILEA, tel. 503-7729-6726. 
¶2. Clearances:  Post has no knowledge of any security clearance held 
by Mr. Wirth. 
Absent this clearance information, security regulations may limit 
visitor access to US Government facilities, may require that 
visitors be escorted while in US Government facilities where 
classified information is stored, produced, or discussed, and may 
prohibit visitor access to classified information or classified 
information handling equipment while in El Salvador.  Visitors may 
use their diplomatic or official passport or State Department 
building pass to obtain a temporary Embassy-issued identification 
card, required to access and be on the Embassy compound. 
All TDY visitors under COM authority who will be in-country more 
than ten working days are required to receive a security briefing by 
the Regional Security Office.  Your sponsor will provide you with 
the date and time of your briefing. 
¶3. Accommodations.  Post understands that hotel reservations have 
already been made at the Holiday Inn, tel. 2241-4000. 
¶4. Administrative Support Services (ICASS) for TDY/Visitors: Action 
(a) If administrative support services are necessary, regardless of 
length of stay, then the visitor must be able to present to the 
Financial Management Office their travel authorization (or another 
fund cite) in order to pay for direct costs of the visit.  Each 
agency, organization, or visiting delegation will be charged for the 
actual costs attributed to their visit and will be advised of this 
action.  Direct charge costs include, but are not limited to: 
American and LES staff overtime (e.g., expediter, accommodation 
exchange, and representational event support), field travel-lodging 
and M&IE by Embassy employees, vehicle rentals, long distance 
telephone calls, equipment rentals, office supplies and all other 
costs that are directly attributable to the visit. 
(b) Also, for TDYers over thirty (30) days, there is a charge for 
ICASS support services.  If your sponsoring agency is not signed up 
for ICASS services at Post, please be prepared to sign a MOU for 
ICASS support services upon arrival.  The agency should provide post 
with a written communication generated by the traveler's 
headquarters that confirms the agency will pay ICASS charges for the 
TDYers, provide the agency ICASS billing code the TDY support 
charges should be applied to, and authorizes the traveler to sign 
the ICASS invoice generated by the TDY module.  Where travel is 
urgent, the TDYers should bring this documentation with them to 
ensure there are no interruptions in the provision of service.  Post 
will not provide any service to a TDYer staying in excess of thirty 
days without provision of this documentation before day 31 of the 
¶5. Airport transportation services.  Most hotels offer airport 
shuttle service for their confirmed guests.  This service may be 
free, but is typically charged at rates ranging between $7.00 and 
$15.00 per one-way trip.  The hotels that currently offer this 
service are:  Radisson, Princess Hotel, Holiday Inn Hotel, Sheraton 
Presidente San Salvador Hotel and Real Intercontinental.  If airport 
shuttle service by the hotel is not acceptable, your embassy POC can 
request State Motor Pool transportation services.  If the TDY 
traveler(s) agency is not represented at post, the host agency will 
be charged for ICASS mileage. 
 (a) Taxis. GSO and the Princess Hotel recommend ACACYA taxis. This 
company provides 24/7 services throughout San Salvador.  They 
provide a/c sedans and/or vans upon request. This company operates a 
Kiosk at the airport (located at the meet/greet lobby of the 
terminal, outside of the passenger's exit), tel. numbers (503) 
2339-9282 or (503) 2339-9271 and from Hotel Princess (503) 2298-4545 
(EXT. 2540).  The company will accept reservations via their e-mail 
address - The following charges are levied from 
the following areas: Urban areas within San Salvador to the 
International Airport $25.00. Embassy area (Santa Elena)/ 
International Airport $22.00 
(b) Transporte Express. This company provides services throughout 
San Salvador.  They provide minivans or 15 person vans upon request. 
Telephone numbers are (503) 2252-9400 or (503) 2252-9401. The 
company offers transfers to the airport for $30.00 each way for 
minivans and $35.00 for the larger vans. They will also "meet and 
greet" at the airport upon arrival. Additionally, they offer hourly 
rates (3 hour minimum) for shopping or sightseeing excursions. Their 
web site is: 
¶6.  Laptop Policy. TDY employees requiring connectivity for their 
properly configured State Department equipment should include the 
request in their Country Clearance Request cable.  The traveler will 
be instructed to hand carry the equipment; never allow it to leave 
his or her possession, and to bring it directly to the Embassy upon 
arrival in the country.  Alternatively, the equipment may be sent 
via secure Classified Pouch prior to the visit. No device is 
permitted to be connected to a State Department computer or network 
without the prior approval from the Information Management Officer 
(IMO).  Approval will be based on the type of device and associated 
security risks, and whether the equipment and configuration have 
been approved by the State Department Information Technology Change 
Control Board (ITCCB), including up-to-date virus protection for 
PCs.  Laptops will not be allowed onto the compound without prior 
written permission from the RSO office. 
¶7.  Country Clearance/Visa Issues/Firearms:  Country clearance is 
required for all personnel entering El Salvador.  Individuals 
entering El Salvador on U.S. Diplomatic, Official or Tourist 
passports are not/not required to obtain a Salvadoran Visa prior to 
entering the country.  However, holders of Tourist passports should 
expect to pay a $10.00 fee at the port of entry.  Individuals 
possessing a passport from a country other than the United States 
should consult the Salvadoran Embassy in Washington D.C. for that 
country's visa requirements.  A departure fee of USD 34.00 is 
charged commercial airline customers, and is included in your ticket 
price.  Bearers of diplomatic passports are exempt from this 
departure fee. The importation or possession of any firearm or 
ammunition while traveling to or while in El Salvador is prohibited. 
 Travelers in possession of any firearm or ammunition are subject to 
arrest/detainment by Salvadoran authorities.  Any exception to this 
rule MUST be approved in advance of arrival by the RSO of the U.S. 
Embassy and Salvadoran authorities.   Approval to carry a firearm on 
a flight from airlines departing the U.S. to El Salvador does not 
constitute approval from the Government of El Salvador to bear a 
firearm while in El Salvador. 
¶8. Security information: the threat against Americans from political 
activity is considered low.  The threat from criminal elements is 
critical.  Random, violent crime is endemic throughout the country. 
Armed street robberies, carjacking, kidnapping for ransom, sexual 
assaults and residential burglaries threaten every person in the 
country.  US Citizen or official travelers have not been singled 
out, but are subject to the same threat as all other persons in El 
Salvador.  If travelers are not being met by Embassy personnel or 
taking the airport shuttle, then they should schedule their flights 
to arrive during daylight hours in order to get into San Salvador 
before nightfall.  Traveling on the roads after dusk is dangerous 
for security and traffic safety reasons. 
¶9. Precautions:  though all areas of the country are on limits, 
travelers need to be aware that the downtown area of San Salvador, 
along with other urban areas in the country, is significantly less 
safe than the west side of the capital. Visitors are strongly 
advised to exercise caution while in the vicinity of your hotel, 
particularly at night. Travel to rural areas should be undertaken 
with caution and scheduled so as to arrive in San Salvador or 
another major city by dark.  Mountain roads and poorly maintained 
vehicles are a danger to travelers.  Highway robberies and other 
violence are real threats.  Public transportation, especially buses, 
both within and outside the capital is risky and is not recommended. 
Use radio dispatched taxis or those stationed in front of your 
¶10. Contact with local media: the Ambassador has charged the Office 
of Public Affairs with reviewing and managing public diplomacy 
activities on behalf of the entire Embassy. All official visitors 
must coordinate participation in any public event with the Public 
Affairs Officer or Information Officer in advance. This requirement 
applies to interviews with radio, television and print media as well 
as to public speeches. 
¶11. Health issues: 
--Food: Visitors to El Salvador are at risk for gastrointestinal 
illnesses.  Pay careful attention to the choice of food and 
beverages. Most well known restaurants are considered safe. 
--Drink: Bottled drinks are considered safe.  Tap water is not 
considered potable. 
--Infectious diseases: All persons traveling in El Salvador, even 
for a brief visit, are at risk of contracting dengue. Reduce contact 
with mosquitoes to reduce risk of dengue. 
--Immunizations: No additional immunizations are required. 
Immunizations for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and typhoid reduce the 
risk of contracting these diseases. Short-term visitors who adhere 
to good hygiene measures and follow recommendations concerning food 
and water consumption have a minimal chance of exposure.  Tetanus 
immunization should be updated.  Because rabies is endemic in El 
Salvador, visitors should avoid contact with animals whose 
immunization status is unknown. 
--Automobile safety: Automobile accidents are among the most common 
causes of serious injury. Avoid driving at night. Use seat belts. 
--Emergency medical services: Emergency medical care is limited in 
El Salvador. The health unit keeps an up-to-date list of available 
health facilities in San Salvador.  Travelers should arrange for 
medical evacuation insurance either personally or through their 
sponsoring agency prior to their arrival. 
¶12. All U.S. Government funded travelers are reminded to utilize 
U.S. airlines whenever possible. 
¶13. If any questions or concerns regarding security matters, please 
contact the U.S. Embassy telephone number (503) 2278-4444, RSO: ext.