Colombia Turning Israelis Away After Misconduct by Israeli Tourists

Israeli embassy in Bogota has called on Israelis visiting the country to 'respect local rules and laws,' after reports of the Israelis being caught with drugs

File photo of a street scene in Bogota, Colombia
Eitan Abromovich/AFP

The Israeli embassy in Colombian capital of Bogota has received complaints in recent weeks about young Israelis who have been delayed entering the country or have even been barred following alleged unbecoming conduct on the part of some of the many Israelis who visit the South American nation.

The Israeli ambassador to Colombia, Marco Sermoneta, is due take up the issue on Tuesday with the head of immigration agency responsible for Colombia's border controls.

"Israelis visiting Colombia are asked to observe proper conduct and to respect local rules and laws," the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Colombia is a popular destination, particularly with Israeli backpackers.

In a statement posted on the Israeli embassy Facebook page on May 3, it was noted that the stepped up enforcement action by Colombia authorities followed inappropriate behavior on the part of Israelis in the country "including attendance at parties where large quantities of drugs were confiscated, prostitution, confrontations, and insulting the police and representatives of other law enforcement authorities, etc."

The statement went on to say that, as a result, Colombia authorities have stepped up enforcement efforts "including raids on parties, the arrest of those attending the parties, confiscation of equipment and expulsion from the country, with all of its implications."