UNCLAS SAN SALVADOR 002849
STATE FOR EPA/OIA PTEEL/CHILL-MACON
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OTRA SENV AMGT ES
SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR GERI GILBERT
REF: STATE 185082
Â¶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.
Â¶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.
Â¶3. Accommodations. Post understands that hotel reservations have
already been made at the Holiday Inn, tel. 2241-4000.
Â¶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
Â¶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 - email@example.com. 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: www.transporte-express.com
Â¶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.
Â¶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.
Â¶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.
Â¶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
Â¶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.
Â¶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
--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.
Â¶12. All U.S. Government funded travelers are reminded to utilize
U.S. airlines whenever possible.
Â¶13. If any questions or concerns regarding security matters, please
contact the U.S. Embassy telephone number (503) 2278-4444, RSO: ext.