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2018 South America Field Report


Fri Dec 28 12:06:00 EST 2018
Categories: In Action,

Global Rescue’s medical, security, and intelligence teams of critical care paramedics, physicians and special operations veterans routinely perform boots-on-the-ground assessments of destinations important to our traveling members.

Comprehensive in-country reconnaissance and on-going intelligence reporting are just a few of the reasons why serious travelers trust Global Rescue.

SECURITY / AVIATION / MEDICAL AWARENESS FOR OUR TRAVELERS TO SOUTH AMERICA:

MANAUS, BRAZIL

Medical - Global Rescue recently made site visits to several hospitals in the Manaus region. While medical care is lacking in the jungle areas, the hospitals within Manaus City are of a high standard, fully equipped and capable to diagnose and treat a wide range of complex medical problems. Manaus acts as the regional medical center for the entire Brazilian Amazon region. Members traveling into the jungle areas should ensure that their group has access to a first aid kit and basic medical supplies.

Aviation - There are numerous aviation providers that support Amazon fly fishing adventures and local tourism. Global Rescue has numerous assets under contract and our recent site visit reinforced the quality of maintenance and professionalism of these aviation outfits. Fly fishers travel deep into the Amazon requiring multifaceted rescue operations consisting of extractions by boat to unimproved jungle air strips.  In the alternative, some terrain allows for float planes to land near lodges where members can be medically evacuated to Manaus for higher level care. 

Manaus International Airport-Eduardo Gomes is the major international airport in Northern Brazil, located in the city of Manaus and the busiest in the number of international passengers in this region. In cargo transport, it is the third-busiest in the Brazil, behind only the airports of Guarulhos and Viracopos. The airport supports local tourism with many, affordable transport options to downtown Manaus.

Security - Petty crime is rife in Brazil, especially in large cities. Murders, burglaries, and carjackings are not uncommon. Favelas, or shanty-towns, have higher levels of drug-related violence, theft, and muggings. In the Amazon, and especially near the border with Colombia, the FARC have conducted kidnappings. The tri-border area in western Paraná State is known for the activities of smugglers of illicit goods. Many international organized crime syndicates conduct illicit drug and prostitution operations in Brazil. These groups account for much of the violent crime in Brazil, especially in the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

ARGENTINA

Medical - Global Rescue visited hospitals and clinics in areas ranging from Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Mendoza and the Patagonia region. All major cities are equipped with Western standard facilities. While the regional hospitals are small, they are equipped to diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions. Should a member require medical transport from a regional facility, there are several world class facilities situated in Buenos Aires.

Aviation - There are numerous aviation providers that support adventure tourism throughout Argentina. On a recent South American asset development trip, Global Rescue secured the use of more than 125 different aeromedevac fixed and rotary wind aircraft in the region.  Global Rescue’s air providers can operate in remote areas of Argentina to include the Patagonia parks. 

Security –The threat from terrorism is low. Civil unrest is common and tends to cause only traffic disruptions. Demonstrations and strikes do not often devolve into violence but may disrupt road travel and public transit. However, crime is a concern, particularly in Buenos Aires and other major cities. The majority of crimes reported by foreign visitors are thefts or non-violent robberies, especially in tourist locations and while using public transportation. 

CHILE

Medical - Global Rescue visited hospitals in Santiago and Punta Arenas. Punta Arenas acts as the initial evacuation destination for the Falkland Islands and Antarctica and as such is well equipped with several high standard facilities. From all regions of Chile, members can be transported to Santiago where several world-class facilities are located.

Aviation - There are numerous fixed and rotary wing aviation providers that support adventure tourism throughout Chile.  Global Rescue’s aeromedevac air providers can operate in remote areas of Chile to include the Patagonia parks.    

Security - There is a low threat of international terrorist activity in Chile. However, there remains a risk of domestic terrorist activity and small-scale bombings attributed to anarchist groups. Though crime is a concern, the country has a reliable police force. Demonstrations and strikes are common, and some of these events have turned violent in the past. Minefields are found in parts of the country. While most are marked, mines and signs may shift for various environmental reasons.  

ECUADOR and THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

Medical - Ecuador has invested heavily in its health care system since 2014. Facilities visited by the Global Rescue team were predominantly of a high standard. Hospitals in Quito and Guayaquil are of a high standard, fully equipped and capable to diagnose and treat a wide range of complex medical problems.  Hospitals are limited on the Galapagos Islands and serious cases would be initially moved to Guayaquil, where several Western standard facilities are situated. The capital city, Quito, is also well equipped with medical facilities.

Aviation - Aviation assets in support of tourism are modern and well maintained, but limited in number. Currently, there is only one reputable commercial air ambulance provider operating inside the country, so availability can be limited. Aircraft used in support of extraction operations are located in Quito, but support medical evacuation operations throughout Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. Global Rescue’s Asset Development Team recently spent a week in the Galapagos opening up new aeromedical fixed and rotary wing air assets.  Additionally, the team identified new naval assets that will provide another level of medevac coverage for our members.  The airports in Ecuador are capable of handling jet aeromedevac aircraft.  The airports in the Galapagos are small, but capable of supporting some fixed wing aeromedevac aircraft.  Injured and sick members will be medically evacuated back the mainland for comprehensive medical treatment when needed.

Security - Ecuador is a hotspot for both petty and violent crimes, including sexual assault and homicide. It is also plagued by political instability, which sometimes manifests itself in riots and demonstrations. While there are no international or regional terrorist outfits operating within the country, the Colombia-based Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) terrorist organization has been active along the countries’ shared border since 2012 and there is a potential of violence spilling over into Ecuador. 

 


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