23
Nov
12:28 UTC

MAX – Europe and the Americas Daily Summary – November 23, 2021

The following report reviews current events in the Europe and the Americas region and their possible effect on business continuity and security. 

Highlights of the Day

Americas

  • Americas: Inclement weather conditions forecast regionwide from November 23-26; remain cognizant of updates
  • Canada: Multiple protests recorded nationwide, railway lines blocked against BC gas pipeline on November 21-22; protests likely to continue
  • Venezuela: One killed, 11 injured in vehicular ramming at MUD event in Zulia on November 21; reflects threat to opposition in strongholds

Europe

  • Germany: Several injured in violent altercation between two groups on Rheinische Strasse, Dortmund on November 21; likely gang related
  • Italy: Unionized taxi drivers slated to hold 24-hour strike, protest from Termini station in Rome on November 24; allot for disruptions
  • Romania: PNL’s Ciuca nominated as PM in first rotation per coalition agreement on November 22; liable to win confidence vote

 

Americas Actionable Items

Americas: El Salvador lifts travel restrictions as immunization drives continue regionwide as of November 23; remain cognizant of updates

In Canada, international flights will resume at British Columbia’s Kelowna International Airport (YLW) from November 30 onwards. In Ontario, children aged five to 11 are eligible to book their COVID-19 vaccine appointment. In Chile, 27 communes will move backward and 11 will move forward in the ‘Paso a Paso’ (Step by Step) COVID-19 plan on November 24. In El Salvador, authorities lifted all testing and vaccination requirements for arrivals. However, health protocols including temperature checks, wearing facemasks, and social distancing remain in place in airports. In Guatemala, unvaccinated individuals who have visited or transited through Brazil, South Africa, and the UK within the last 14 days prior to arrival will be refused entry. Guatemalan nationals, people with legal residence in Guatemala, members of the diplomatic corps, people traveling for humanitarian purposes, and flight personnel are exempt but will be required to undergo a 10 day-quarantine. In Honduras, wearing masks will be mandatory during the November 28 general elections. In the USA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State Department advised against travel to Denmark and Germany.

Those operating or residing in the Americas on November 23 and the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ instructions regarding quarantines and health procedures.

 

Americas: Inclement weather conditions forecast regionwide from November 23-26; remain cognizant of updates

In Argentina, the Servicio Meteorologico Nacional (SMN) has forecast high temperatures up to 32 degrees Celsius in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area on November 24. In Brazil, the Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia (INMET) has issued an orange warning, the second-highest in a three-tier system, for heavy rains in the states of Amazonas, Goias, Mato Grosso, northern regions of Minas Gerais, and the Tocantins on November 23. In Canada, red warnings remain in place for rainfall, snowfall, and wind across multiple regions nationwide for November 23. In Chile, the Direccion Meteorologica de Chile has forecast high temperatures ranging between 25-32 degrees Celsius in the regions of Biobio, Coquimbo, Maule, Nuble, O’Higgins, Santiago, and Valparaiso from November 23-26. In the USA, critical fire warnings remain in effect for southeast Colorado and northeast New Mexico on November 23.

Those operating or residing in the aforementioned areas in the Americas on November 23 and the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ updates regarding weather-related risks. Allot for potential disruptions to travel and other public services.

 

Americas Notable Events

Argentina: Mapuche block Route 40, attack passersby following killing of group member in El Bolson on November 21; reflects threat to locals

On November 21, one Mapuche member was killed and one injured after being shot at by two unknown individuals in the Cuesta del Ternero area, El Bolson, Rio Negro. The killing comes after the armed individuals entered the Mapuche settlement, which led to an altercation with the Mapuche settlers. The Mapuche blocked Route 40 in Villa Mascardi throughout the day in response to the attack.

Despite authorities stating that the incident was not part of any security operation, coupled with the preliminary investigation indicating that the armed individuals entered the settlement for hunting purposes, the attack is likely to be perceived by the Mapuche as a state-led act of eviction amid ongoing land disputes between the indigenous group and the government. That the Mapuche hurled stones at passersby after the incident reflects the credible threat posed to residents and commuters. Given that a Rio Negro court recently ruled that the property where the Mapuche have settled is privately-owned, any future attempts to evict the Mapuche settlers are likely to prompt violent unrest and road blockades in the area.

 

Canada: Multiple protests recorded nationwide, railway lines blocked against BC gas pipeline on November 21-22; protests likely to continue

Multiple demonstrations in support of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation’s opposition to the Coastal Gaslink pipeline in British Columbia (BC) occurred in major urban areas on November 21-22. Protests in Edmonton and Toronto numbered in the low hundreds and blocked roadways, while a protest in Montreal’s Mile End neighborhood blocked railway lines. On November 18-19, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) arrested 29 individuals near Houston, BC for violating a 2019 BC Supreme Court injunction making protests in the vicinity of the gas pipeline illegal.

Given the heightened tensions regarding the construction of the pipeline and concerns over the treatment of First Nations communities, further protests and road blockades are likely in the near term, especially in the vicinity of Houston, BC. Additional RCMP operations to clear road blockades, leading to arrests, are liable for the duration of the protest movement. Furthermore, demonstrations led by climate activists and civil society organizations can be expected in major urban areas, including Montreal and Toronto, in the coming weeks potentially leading to disruptions to vehicular and train traffic as witnessed in similar protests in 2020.

 

Mexico: Eleven killed in three separate incidents across Michoacan on November 20-22; security situation to remain critical

Eleven individuals were killed in Michoacan between November 20-22 in three separate incidents. Gunmen killed two and injured six at a bar in the Cuitzeo on November 20, hours after the state Secretary of Public Security appointed the municipality’s director and deputy director. Four were killed and seven injured in a clandestine gambling venue in Zitacuaro on November 21. Five were found in plastic bags with bullet wounds along the highway in Tangamandapio on November 22.

These events highlight the continued deterioration of security in Michoacan, which has seen an uptick in violence due to disputes over its control between Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) and Carteles Unidos (CU). Given the recent appointment of security officials in Cuitzeo, the possibility of the attack as a retaliation measure cannot be ruled out. Moreover, the event in Zitacuaro underlines the branching out of criminal organizations into other clandestine revenue options beyond drug trafficking. The ongoing turf war can be expected to continue over the coming months, with indiscriminate threats to civilians remaining a possibility.

 

Venezuela: One killed, 11 injured in vehicular ramming at MUD event in Zulia on November 21; reflects threat to opposition in strongholds

On November 21, two individuals drove a truck into a group of members of the opposition coalition Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD) in La Canada, Zulia, leaving one dead and 11 injured, when members were celebrating their mayoral candidate’s victory. Separately, unknown individuals fired shots at a voting center in San Francisco, Zulia, leaving one dead and two injured. A MUD worker who denounced the attack on social media was later assaulted. Several instances of voters being blocked from entering the polling booths were recorded in Zulia.

The incidents reflect the heightened threat posed to opposition candidates and supporters, particularly in Cojedes, Nueva Esparta, and Zulia, the states where opposition parties defeated the ruling Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV). That armed individuals managed to block several voting centers in the opposition’s stronghold constituencies, despite bolstered security arrangements, suggests that these acts may have been orchestrated by PSUV supporters to threaten the opposition. With the USA accusing President Nicolas Maduro of manipulating elections, international criticism against Maduro over electoral fraud will likely intensify due to the aforementioned incidents.

 

Europe Actionable Items

East Europe: Estonia tightens entry restrictions as COVID-19 cases surge in region on November 23; remain cognizant of updates

In Bulgaria, 16 districts in the country have been classified as ‘dark-red zones’, per November 22 reports. In the Czech Republic, as of November 23, COVID-19 test results will no longer be accepted as valid proof for entry into restaurants, cinema halls, and other public venues. Proof of vaccination or recovery within the last six months will be accepted. Separately, the government has approved over 7 million EUR to fund PCR testing in schools. Additionally, employees must undergo COVID-19 testing once a week. In Estonia, authorities have placed Malta under the ‘yellow list’, thereby imposing additional entry restrictions for travelers who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 or recovered from the same, per November 22 reports. The list of restrictions can be found here. In Latvia, rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 are now available in pharmacies in three cities, including Riga, per November 22 reports. In Ukraine, Health Minister Viktor Lyashko announced that the regions of Luhansk and Lviv will be removed from the red zone this week. Information regarding the color-coded system and restrictions can be found here.

Those operating or residing in East Europe on November 23 and in the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ instructions regarding quarantines and health procedures.

 

Europe: Warnings for inclement weather issued for multiple countries in region for November 23-24; remain cognizant of authorities’ updates

Meteoalarm, Europe’s regional weather service, has issued a red alert, the highest in a three-tier system for winds in the eastern region of the Velebit channel in Croatia, while an orange alert for winds has been issued in the areas of Kvarner i Kvarneric, North Dalmatia, and West Istrian Coast. Furthermore, orange alert was issued for winds in the German districts of Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald, Freudenstadt, Lorrach, Ortenau, Schwarzwald-Baar, and Waldshut for November 23. Orange alerts are in effect for rains and thunderstorms in Alicante and Tarragona in Spain and for snow and ice for much of central Spain, including Albarracin y Jiloca, Guadalajara, Gudar y Maestrazgo, Iberia de Burgos, Riojana, Soria, and Zaragozana, Sistema Central de Soria, and Molina. Orange alerts are also in effect for coastal events in Tarragona on November 23. Orange alerts for thunderstorms have been issued for Lazio, Campania, and Abruzzo in Italy. In Greece, orange alerts are in place for East Macedonia, Epirus, Ionian Islands, Thessalia, Thraki, West Peloponnisos, and West Sterea for the risk of thunderstorms.

Those operating or residing in the aforementioned countries in Europe from November 23-24 are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ updates for weather-related risks and allot for associated travel disruptions.

 

Germany: A12 motorway leading to Poland to remain closed until November 25 due to repair work; allot for disruptions

Bundesautobahn 12 (A12) motorway connecting Frankfurt (Oder) with Poland will remain closed until at least the afternoon hours (local time) on November 25 due to repair work. German authorities have undertaken necessary steps to avoid traffic congestion, including setting up checkpoints and traffic diversions. Heavy goods traffic is being diverted from Berliner Ring and car traffic is being diverted at the Frankfurt (Oder) West exit. Moreover, the Frankfurt (Oder) Mitte highway in the direction of the A12 is closed. Additionally, heavy vehicles and trucks are not allowed on the Frankfurt (Oder) city bridge. Due to the A12 closure, significant traffic disruptions and delays can be expected on the outskirts of Frankfurt (Oder) towards the Polish border. Disruptions are also expected on the Bundesstrasse 112 connecting Frankfurt (Oder) and Eisenhuttenstadt.

Those intending to travel via A12 on November 23-25 are advised to allot for disruptions to traffic due to the slated repair work.

 

Ireland: Truck drivers to hold nationwide protests, vehicle convoys, including in Dublin on November 24; allot for disruptions

According to reports, truck drivers associated with the Irish Truckers and Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices are slated to hold nationwide protests, including in Dublin, on November 24. Participants have reportedly called for roadblocks and vehicle convoys in major cities to protest fuel prices and operating costs. In Dublin, vehicle convoys are planned to assemble at 06:00 (local time) at multiple locations, all leading to Kildare Street, where a protest will begin at 07:00.

In addition to trucks, drivers of buses, tractors, vans, taxis, and other commercial vehicles are expected to partake in the nationwide roadblocks. As such, significant disruptions are expected on major roads throughout the day, particularly during the morning hours. While the protest at Kildare Street is expected to transpire largely peacefully, the potential for isolated scuffles remains. A bolstered security presence can be expected in the vicinity of the protest location to monitor proceedings, as well as ensure compliance with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. Significant disruptions to pedestrian and vehicular traffic can be anticipated throughout Dublin from the morning hours onwards due to the demonstrations.

Those operating or residing in Dublin on November 24 are advised to reconfirm their itineraries and allot for disruptions to travel from the morning hours onwards due to the planned vehicle convoys and protest.

 

Italy: Unionized taxi drivers slated to hold 24-hour strike, protest from Termini station in Rome on November 24; allot for disruptions

Taxi drivers associated with multiple trade unions have called for a 24-hour strike and an associated protest march in front of the Termini station in Rome on November 24. The exact timing of the protest remains unconfirmed. Activists will then proceed towards Piazza Santi Apostoli, however, the police are yet to authorize gathering at Piazza Santi Apostoli. The labor action and associated protest have been called to demand the withdrawal of a transportation bill perceived to benefit private taxi companies.

Given the known mobilizational capacities of the unions, the strike is likely to be widely adhered to and cause major service disruptions to transportation in Rome throughout the day. The demonstration is likely to witness a turnout in the low-to-mid thousands. Based on precedent, the protest is likely to transpire largely peacefully. While the possibility of localized scuffles between protesters and the police remains should they march towards Piazza Santi Apostoli, these are unlikely to escalate into major clashes. Disruptions to traffic are anticipated near the protest locations from the morning hours onwards.

Those operating or residing in Rome on November 24 are advised to allot for disruptions to travel in the vicinity of the aforementioned protest from the morning hours onwards. Allot for disruptions to taxi services throughout the day due to the slated labor action.

 

Italy & Spain: Volcanic eruptions reported in Aeolian Islands, La Palma as of November 23; remain cognizant of authorities’ updates

Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) has issued an orange alert, the second-highest in a three-tier system for a volcanic eruption on La Palma in the Canary Islands of in Spain as of November 23. Coastal towns, including Tazacorte, San Borondon, and El Cardon have been locked down, while La Palma Airport (SPC) remains closed until November 24 due to the release of toxic gas and volcanic ash from the latest eruption. In Italy, authorities announced a state of emergency on the Aeolian Islands due to increased levels of volcanic activity and risks of increased carbon dioxide levels from Vulcano, a volcanic island, on November 22. According to the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), a research institute under the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), carbon dioxide levels around Vulcano rose from 80 tons to 480 tons since October 21. Authorities have designated Porto di Levante as a ‘red zone’ and ordered the evacuation of 250 residents, prohibiting non-researchers, non-civil protection officials, tourists from entering the area.

Those operating or residing in the aforementioned areas of Italy and Spain on November 23 and over the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ updates due to the associated risks from increased volcanic activity.

 

Poland: Human rights groups to protest at Trybunal Konstytucyjny in Warsaw from 10:00 (local time) on November 24; allot for disruptions

Multiple human rights groups, including Wolnosc Rownosc Demokracja and Polskie Babcie, will protest in front of the Trybunal Konstytucyjny, the Constitutional Tribunal, located at aleja Jana Chrystiana Szucha 12A in Warsaw, at 10:00 (local time) on November 24. The protest is being held to denounce Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro’s request that the Constitutional Tribunal rule on whether regulations cited by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) are constitutional. The protest is set to coincide with the hearing on November 24.

Based on social media engagement, the protest is likely to witness a turnout in the low-to-mid hundreds. The protest is expected to transpire largely peacefully, although the potential for isolated scuffles cannot be ruled out. As such, a bolstered security presence is likely to be deployed in the vicinity of Trybunal Konstytucyjny to monitor proceedings. Disruptions to pedestrian and vehicular traffic can be expected in the vicinity of the protest location from the morning hours onwards.

Those operating or residing in Warsaw on November 24 are advised to allot for travel disruptions in the vicinity of Trybunal Konstytucyjny from morning hours onwards due to the slated protests.

 

Romania: Anti-vaccination protest to be held from 10:00 (local time) at Palace of Parliament, Bucharest on November 24; maintain vigilance

Reports indicate that activists associated with the ‘Luptam Pentru Romania’ movement will stage an anti-government demonstration in Bucharest on November 24. Participants will gather from 10:00 (local time) in front of the Palace of Parliament to denounce mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations and associated restrictions for unvaccinated individuals. The group has held several demonstrations against the government’s alleged mismanagement of the economy and against COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown measures in recent months.

Based on the known mobilization capacity of the group involved and its recent protests, the demonstration is expected to witness turnouts in the low-to-mid hundreds. Given the heightened anti-government sentiments and judging by the resurgence of violent anti-lockdown protests regionwide, the demonstration carries a latent potential for unrest. Isolated clashes between protesters and police officers cannot be ruled out in the event that law enforcement personnel attempt to break up the protest. As such, a bolstered security presence is expected to be deployed in the vicinity of the protest location. Significant disruptions to travel are anticipated in the vicinity of the Palace of Parliament from the morning hours onwards.

Those operating or residing in Bucharest on November 24 are advised to maintain vigilance due to the potential for unrest and allot for disruptions to travel in the vicinity of the Palace of Parliament from the morning hours onwards.

 

West Europe: Norway lifts entry ban for certain countries as COVID-19 vaccinations continue on November 23; remain cognizant of updates

In Austria, international travel will remain operational despite exit restrictions that are in effect until December 12. In Belgium, effective November 26, vaccinated travelers arriving from ‘red list’ countries outside the EU or Schengen area will not be subject to COVID-19 testing or isolation upon arrival, provided they present a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours or rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours, prior to arrival. In Italy, health officials approved the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine using an mRNA vaccine five months after the second dose. In South Tyrol, discos and nightclubs are closed and facemasks are required in outdoor settings. In red municipalities, a curfew from 20:00-05:00 is in effect, and bars and restaurants must close at 18:00. In the Netherlands, hospitals are preparing for a ‘code black’ scenario, under which doctors will have to choose who to treat. In Norway, authorities will lift entry bans for all remaining countries, effective from November 26. In Spain, health authorities placed Malta on the ‘high-risk’ list for COVID-19 entry restrictions.

Those operating or residing in West Europe on November 23 and in the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ instructions regarding quarantines and health procedures.

 

Europe Notable Events

Denmark: Wind turbine manufacturer targeted by cyberattack, per November 22 reports; likely to disrupt international business operations

November 22 reports indicate that a Danish offshore wind turbine manufacturer was targeted by a cyberattack on November 19 after its internal IT systems were breached. The company shut down part of its business operations as a precaution. Although the incident did not impact third-party operations, including customer and supply chains, it compromised data. In recent years, multiple Danish companies have been targeted by cyberattacks, including an international container shipping firm.

The cyberattack is notable given that the company operates in 85 countries, with disruptions to the manufacturing, installation, and servicing process likely to significantly impact regions that rely on wind turbines as a power source. While the company did not disclose by what type of cyberattack they were targeted, current information suggests it was likely a ransomware attack. Further, the sophisticated nature of the cyberattack indicates that it was perpetrated by a well-established hacking network. With the incident following a series of cyberattacks on critical infrastructure in recent years and ransomware groups escalating their attacks for larger payouts, further such incidents are likely to be recorded in the near-to-medium-term.

 

Germany: Several injured in violent altercation between two groups on Rheinische Strasse, Dortmund on November 21; likely gang related

Several people were injured following an altercation between two groups on Rheinische Strasse, Dortmund, around 15:00 (local time) on November 21. Authorities confirmed that firearms and knives were used. Police arrested the suspects shortly after the incident. Details on the identities of those injured and the type of weapons used have not been released as of writing, although investigations are ongoing.

The fact that the suspects were armed strongly suggests that this was gang-related, as Germany restricts the use of firearms in public places under the Weapons Act and the War Weapons Control Act. That 112 Turkish and Arab organized criminal clans operate in the North Rhine-Westphalia supports this, with the attack likely linked to inter-gang conflict. Moreover, that the attack took place in central Dortmund during the afternoon hours indicates the incident posed a credible threat to bystanders. However, given that spillover violence is rare in Germany, this was likely an anomaly and not indicative of a wider trend. Regardless, security is likely to be bolstered in the vicinity of Rheinische Strasse in the coming days as a precaution.

 

Romania: PNL’s Ciuca nominated as PM in first rotation per coalition agreement on November 22; liable to win confidence vote

President Klaus Iohannis nominated Partidul National Liberal (PNL) candidate Nicolae Ciuca as the PM-designate after parliamentary consultations on November 22. This follows the coalition agreement between PNL, Partidul Social Democrat (PSD), and Uniunea Democrata Maghiara din Romania (UDMR) that approved a rotation of two prime ministers for 18 months each until 2024. Ciuca will appear for a confidence vote with a newly formed government on November 25.

Given that PNL nominated Ciuca as its PM candidate instead of former PM Florin Citu, PSD’s approval for Ciuca’s nomination for the first rotation was largely expected. Considering that the three-party alliance holds a majority in parliament, Ciuca is liable to win the confidence vote on November 25. The EU’s recovery funds will also be released based on Bucharest’s fulfillment of certain targets. However, given the inter-party differences on issues including social welfare and taxation policies, disagreements on these issues are liable to weaken the coalition in the medium to long term.

 

Russia & USA: Washington imposes new sanctions on Nord Stream 2-linked commercial entity on November 22; to exacerbate bilateral tensions

The USA imposed new sanctions on a Russia-linked shipping company and one vessel involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project on November 22. Pursuant to the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of 2019 (PEESA), the US Department of State had submitted a report to Congress listing two vessels involved in the pipeline construction. As of November 22, the USA has sanctioned eight persons and blocked 17 vessels, including one of the two listed vessels, the Marlin, although the second vessel was not sanctioned due to its affiliation with a German commercial entity.

Given Washington’s opposition to the Nord Stream 2 project, new sanctions on Russian commercial entities and vessels were largely expected. However, the timing of the announcement that comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow over Russia’s alleged military build-up near the Ukrainian border and ongoing energy crisis in Europe, indicates that the sanctions are likely imposed in response to the above developments. While the sanctions are unlikely to have a significant impact on the pipeline’s future operations, its likely to escalate Russia-USA tensions moving forward.

 

Notable Dates

November 25  

  • USA: Thanksgiving Day  

   

November 26  

  • Turks and Caicos: Thanksgiving Day  

   

November 28  

  • Albania: Independence Day  
  • Honduras: General election  

   

November 29  

  • Albania: Liberation Day 

  

November 30 

  • Albania: Liberation Day 
  • Barbados: Independence Day 
  • Romania: Feast of St. Andrew 

 

December 1 

  • Portugal: Independence Restoration Day 
  • Romania: National Day 

 

December 6

  • Finland: Independence Day
  • Spain: Constitution Day

 

The following report reviews current events in the Europe and the Americas region and their possible effect on business continuity and security. 

Highlights of the Day

Americas

  • Americas: Inclement weather conditions forecast regionwide from November 23-26; remain cognizant of updates
  • Canada: Multiple protests recorded nationwide, railway lines blocked against BC gas pipeline on November 21-22; protests likely to continue
  • Venezuela: One killed, 11 injured in vehicular ramming at MUD event in Zulia on November 21; reflects threat to opposition in strongholds

Europe

  • Germany: Several injured in violent altercation between two groups on Rheinische Strasse, Dortmund on November 21; likely gang related
  • Italy: Unionized taxi drivers slated to hold 24-hour strike, protest from Termini station in Rome on November 24; allot for disruptions
  • Romania: PNL’s Ciuca nominated as PM in first rotation per coalition agreement on November 22; liable to win confidence vote

 

Americas Actionable Items

Americas: El Salvador lifts travel restrictions as immunization drives continue regionwide as of November 23; remain cognizant of updates

In Canada, international flights will resume at British Columbia’s Kelowna International Airport (YLW) from November 30 onwards. In Ontario, children aged five to 11 are eligible to book their COVID-19 vaccine appointment. In Chile, 27 communes will move backward and 11 will move forward in the ‘Paso a Paso’ (Step by Step) COVID-19 plan on November 24. In El Salvador, authorities lifted all testing and vaccination requirements for arrivals. However, health protocols including temperature checks, wearing facemasks, and social distancing remain in place in airports. In Guatemala, unvaccinated individuals who have visited or transited through Brazil, South Africa, and the UK within the last 14 days prior to arrival will be refused entry. Guatemalan nationals, people with legal residence in Guatemala, members of the diplomatic corps, people traveling for humanitarian purposes, and flight personnel are exempt but will be required to undergo a 10 day-quarantine. In Honduras, wearing masks will be mandatory during the November 28 general elections. In the USA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State Department advised against travel to Denmark and Germany.

Those operating or residing in the Americas on November 23 and the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ instructions regarding quarantines and health procedures.

 

Americas: Inclement weather conditions forecast regionwide from November 23-26; remain cognizant of updates

In Argentina, the Servicio Meteorologico Nacional (SMN) has forecast high temperatures up to 32 degrees Celsius in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area on November 24. In Brazil, the Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia (INMET) has issued an orange warning, the second-highest in a three-tier system, for heavy rains in the states of Amazonas, Goias, Mato Grosso, northern regions of Minas Gerais, and the Tocantins on November 23. In Canada, red warnings remain in place for rainfall, snowfall, and wind across multiple regions nationwide for November 23. In Chile, the Direccion Meteorologica de Chile has forecast high temperatures ranging between 25-32 degrees Celsius in the regions of Biobio, Coquimbo, Maule, Nuble, O’Higgins, Santiago, and Valparaiso from November 23-26. In the USA, critical fire warnings remain in effect for southeast Colorado and northeast New Mexico on November 23.

Those operating or residing in the aforementioned areas in the Americas on November 23 and the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ updates regarding weather-related risks. Allot for potential disruptions to travel and other public services.

 

Americas Notable Events

Argentina: Mapuche block Route 40, attack passersby following killing of group member in El Bolson on November 21; reflects threat to locals

On November 21, one Mapuche member was killed and one injured after being shot at by two unknown individuals in the Cuesta del Ternero area, El Bolson, Rio Negro. The killing comes after the armed individuals entered the Mapuche settlement, which led to an altercation with the Mapuche settlers. The Mapuche blocked Route 40 in Villa Mascardi throughout the day in response to the attack.

Despite authorities stating that the incident was not part of any security operation, coupled with the preliminary investigation indicating that the armed individuals entered the settlement for hunting purposes, the attack is likely to be perceived by the Mapuche as a state-led act of eviction amid ongoing land disputes between the indigenous group and the government. That the Mapuche hurled stones at passersby after the incident reflects the credible threat posed to residents and commuters. Given that a Rio Negro court recently ruled that the property where the Mapuche have settled is privately-owned, any future attempts to evict the Mapuche settlers are likely to prompt violent unrest and road blockades in the area.

 

Canada: Multiple protests recorded nationwide, railway lines blocked against BC gas pipeline on November 21-22; protests likely to continue

Multiple demonstrations in support of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation’s opposition to the Coastal Gaslink pipeline in British Columbia (BC) occurred in major urban areas on November 21-22. Protests in Edmonton and Toronto numbered in the low hundreds and blocked roadways, while a protest in Montreal’s Mile End neighborhood blocked railway lines. On November 18-19, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) arrested 29 individuals near Houston, BC for violating a 2019 BC Supreme Court injunction making protests in the vicinity of the gas pipeline illegal.

Given the heightened tensions regarding the construction of the pipeline and concerns over the treatment of First Nations communities, further protests and road blockades are likely in the near term, especially in the vicinity of Houston, BC. Additional RCMP operations to clear road blockades, leading to arrests, are liable for the duration of the protest movement. Furthermore, demonstrations led by climate activists and civil society organizations can be expected in major urban areas, including Montreal and Toronto, in the coming weeks potentially leading to disruptions to vehicular and train traffic as witnessed in similar protests in 2020.

 

Mexico: Eleven killed in three separate incidents across Michoacan on November 20-22; security situation to remain critical

Eleven individuals were killed in Michoacan between November 20-22 in three separate incidents. Gunmen killed two and injured six at a bar in the Cuitzeo on November 20, hours after the state Secretary of Public Security appointed the municipality’s director and deputy director. Four were killed and seven injured in a clandestine gambling venue in Zitacuaro on November 21. Five were found in plastic bags with bullet wounds along the highway in Tangamandapio on November 22.

These events highlight the continued deterioration of security in Michoacan, which has seen an uptick in violence due to disputes over its control between Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) and Carteles Unidos (CU). Given the recent appointment of security officials in Cuitzeo, the possibility of the attack as a retaliation measure cannot be ruled out. Moreover, the event in Zitacuaro underlines the branching out of criminal organizations into other clandestine revenue options beyond drug trafficking. The ongoing turf war can be expected to continue over the coming months, with indiscriminate threats to civilians remaining a possibility.

 

Venezuela: One killed, 11 injured in vehicular ramming at MUD event in Zulia on November 21; reflects threat to opposition in strongholds

On November 21, two individuals drove a truck into a group of members of the opposition coalition Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD) in La Canada, Zulia, leaving one dead and 11 injured, when members were celebrating their mayoral candidate’s victory. Separately, unknown individuals fired shots at a voting center in San Francisco, Zulia, leaving one dead and two injured. A MUD worker who denounced the attack on social media was later assaulted. Several instances of voters being blocked from entering the polling booths were recorded in Zulia.

The incidents reflect the heightened threat posed to opposition candidates and supporters, particularly in Cojedes, Nueva Esparta, and Zulia, the states where opposition parties defeated the ruling Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV). That armed individuals managed to block several voting centers in the opposition’s stronghold constituencies, despite bolstered security arrangements, suggests that these acts may have been orchestrated by PSUV supporters to threaten the opposition. With the USA accusing President Nicolas Maduro of manipulating elections, international criticism against Maduro over electoral fraud will likely intensify due to the aforementioned incidents.

 

Europe Actionable Items

East Europe: Estonia tightens entry restrictions as COVID-19 cases surge in region on November 23; remain cognizant of updates

In Bulgaria, 16 districts in the country have been classified as ‘dark-red zones’, per November 22 reports. In the Czech Republic, as of November 23, COVID-19 test results will no longer be accepted as valid proof for entry into restaurants, cinema halls, and other public venues. Proof of vaccination or recovery within the last six months will be accepted. Separately, the government has approved over 7 million EUR to fund PCR testing in schools. Additionally, employees must undergo COVID-19 testing once a week. In Estonia, authorities have placed Malta under the ‘yellow list’, thereby imposing additional entry restrictions for travelers who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 or recovered from the same, per November 22 reports. The list of restrictions can be found here. In Latvia, rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 are now available in pharmacies in three cities, including Riga, per November 22 reports. In Ukraine, Health Minister Viktor Lyashko announced that the regions of Luhansk and Lviv will be removed from the red zone this week. Information regarding the color-coded system and restrictions can be found here.

Those operating or residing in East Europe on November 23 and in the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ instructions regarding quarantines and health procedures.

 

Europe: Warnings for inclement weather issued for multiple countries in region for November 23-24; remain cognizant of authorities’ updates

Meteoalarm, Europe’s regional weather service, has issued a red alert, the highest in a three-tier system for winds in the eastern region of the Velebit channel in Croatia, while an orange alert for winds has been issued in the areas of Kvarner i Kvarneric, North Dalmatia, and West Istrian Coast. Furthermore, orange alert was issued for winds in the German districts of Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald, Freudenstadt, Lorrach, Ortenau, Schwarzwald-Baar, and Waldshut for November 23. Orange alerts are in effect for rains and thunderstorms in Alicante and Tarragona in Spain and for snow and ice for much of central Spain, including Albarracin y Jiloca, Guadalajara, Gudar y Maestrazgo, Iberia de Burgos, Riojana, Soria, and Zaragozana, Sistema Central de Soria, and Molina. Orange alerts are also in effect for coastal events in Tarragona on November 23. Orange alerts for thunderstorms have been issued for Lazio, Campania, and Abruzzo in Italy. In Greece, orange alerts are in place for East Macedonia, Epirus, Ionian Islands, Thessalia, Thraki, West Peloponnisos, and West Sterea for the risk of thunderstorms.

Those operating or residing in the aforementioned countries in Europe from November 23-24 are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ updates for weather-related risks and allot for associated travel disruptions.

 

Germany: A12 motorway leading to Poland to remain closed until November 25 due to repair work; allot for disruptions

Bundesautobahn 12 (A12) motorway connecting Frankfurt (Oder) with Poland will remain closed until at least the afternoon hours (local time) on November 25 due to repair work. German authorities have undertaken necessary steps to avoid traffic congestion, including setting up checkpoints and traffic diversions. Heavy goods traffic is being diverted from Berliner Ring and car traffic is being diverted at the Frankfurt (Oder) West exit. Moreover, the Frankfurt (Oder) Mitte highway in the direction of the A12 is closed. Additionally, heavy vehicles and trucks are not allowed on the Frankfurt (Oder) city bridge. Due to the A12 closure, significant traffic disruptions and delays can be expected on the outskirts of Frankfurt (Oder) towards the Polish border. Disruptions are also expected on the Bundesstrasse 112 connecting Frankfurt (Oder) and Eisenhuttenstadt.

Those intending to travel via A12 on November 23-25 are advised to allot for disruptions to traffic due to the slated repair work.

 

Ireland: Truck drivers to hold nationwide protests, vehicle convoys, including in Dublin on November 24; allot for disruptions

According to reports, truck drivers associated with the Irish Truckers and Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices are slated to hold nationwide protests, including in Dublin, on November 24. Participants have reportedly called for roadblocks and vehicle convoys in major cities to protest fuel prices and operating costs. In Dublin, vehicle convoys are planned to assemble at 06:00 (local time) at multiple locations, all leading to Kildare Street, where a protest will begin at 07:00.

In addition to trucks, drivers of buses, tractors, vans, taxis, and other commercial vehicles are expected to partake in the nationwide roadblocks. As such, significant disruptions are expected on major roads throughout the day, particularly during the morning hours. While the protest at Kildare Street is expected to transpire largely peacefully, the potential for isolated scuffles remains. A bolstered security presence can be expected in the vicinity of the protest location to monitor proceedings, as well as ensure compliance with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. Significant disruptions to pedestrian and vehicular traffic can be anticipated throughout Dublin from the morning hours onwards due to the demonstrations.

Those operating or residing in Dublin on November 24 are advised to reconfirm their itineraries and allot for disruptions to travel from the morning hours onwards due to the planned vehicle convoys and protest.

 

Italy: Unionized taxi drivers slated to hold 24-hour strike, protest from Termini station in Rome on November 24; allot for disruptions

Taxi drivers associated with multiple trade unions have called for a 24-hour strike and an associated protest march in front of the Termini station in Rome on November 24. The exact timing of the protest remains unconfirmed. Activists will then proceed towards Piazza Santi Apostoli, however, the police are yet to authorize gathering at Piazza Santi Apostoli. The labor action and associated protest have been called to demand the withdrawal of a transportation bill perceived to benefit private taxi companies.

Given the known mobilizational capacities of the unions, the strike is likely to be widely adhered to and cause major service disruptions to transportation in Rome throughout the day. The demonstration is likely to witness a turnout in the low-to-mid thousands. Based on precedent, the protest is likely to transpire largely peacefully. While the possibility of localized scuffles between protesters and the police remains should they march towards Piazza Santi Apostoli, these are unlikely to escalate into major clashes. Disruptions to traffic are anticipated near the protest locations from the morning hours onwards.

Those operating or residing in Rome on November 24 are advised to allot for disruptions to travel in the vicinity of the aforementioned protest from the morning hours onwards. Allot for disruptions to taxi services throughout the day due to the slated labor action.

 

Italy & Spain: Volcanic eruptions reported in Aeolian Islands, La Palma as of November 23; remain cognizant of authorities’ updates

Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) has issued an orange alert, the second-highest in a three-tier system for a volcanic eruption on La Palma in the Canary Islands of in Spain as of November 23. Coastal towns, including Tazacorte, San Borondon, and El Cardon have been locked down, while La Palma Airport (SPC) remains closed until November 24 due to the release of toxic gas and volcanic ash from the latest eruption. In Italy, authorities announced a state of emergency on the Aeolian Islands due to increased levels of volcanic activity and risks of increased carbon dioxide levels from Vulcano, a volcanic island, on November 22. According to the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), a research institute under the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), carbon dioxide levels around Vulcano rose from 80 tons to 480 tons since October 21. Authorities have designated Porto di Levante as a ‘red zone’ and ordered the evacuation of 250 residents, prohibiting non-researchers, non-civil protection officials, tourists from entering the area.

Those operating or residing in the aforementioned areas of Italy and Spain on November 23 and over the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ updates due to the associated risks from increased volcanic activity.

 

Poland: Human rights groups to protest at Trybunal Konstytucyjny in Warsaw from 10:00 (local time) on November 24; allot for disruptions

Multiple human rights groups, including Wolnosc Rownosc Demokracja and Polskie Babcie, will protest in front of the Trybunal Konstytucyjny, the Constitutional Tribunal, located at aleja Jana Chrystiana Szucha 12A in Warsaw, at 10:00 (local time) on November 24. The protest is being held to denounce Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro’s request that the Constitutional Tribunal rule on whether regulations cited by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) are constitutional. The protest is set to coincide with the hearing on November 24.

Based on social media engagement, the protest is likely to witness a turnout in the low-to-mid hundreds. The protest is expected to transpire largely peacefully, although the potential for isolated scuffles cannot be ruled out. As such, a bolstered security presence is likely to be deployed in the vicinity of Trybunal Konstytucyjny to monitor proceedings. Disruptions to pedestrian and vehicular traffic can be expected in the vicinity of the protest location from the morning hours onwards.

Those operating or residing in Warsaw on November 24 are advised to allot for travel disruptions in the vicinity of Trybunal Konstytucyjny from morning hours onwards due to the slated protests.

 

Romania: Anti-vaccination protest to be held from 10:00 (local time) at Palace of Parliament, Bucharest on November 24; maintain vigilance

Reports indicate that activists associated with the ‘Luptam Pentru Romania’ movement will stage an anti-government demonstration in Bucharest on November 24. Participants will gather from 10:00 (local time) in front of the Palace of Parliament to denounce mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations and associated restrictions for unvaccinated individuals. The group has held several demonstrations against the government’s alleged mismanagement of the economy and against COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown measures in recent months.

Based on the known mobilization capacity of the group involved and its recent protests, the demonstration is expected to witness turnouts in the low-to-mid hundreds. Given the heightened anti-government sentiments and judging by the resurgence of violent anti-lockdown protests regionwide, the demonstration carries a latent potential for unrest. Isolated clashes between protesters and police officers cannot be ruled out in the event that law enforcement personnel attempt to break up the protest. As such, a bolstered security presence is expected to be deployed in the vicinity of the protest location. Significant disruptions to travel are anticipated in the vicinity of the Palace of Parliament from the morning hours onwards.

Those operating or residing in Bucharest on November 24 are advised to maintain vigilance due to the potential for unrest and allot for disruptions to travel in the vicinity of the Palace of Parliament from the morning hours onwards.

 

West Europe: Norway lifts entry ban for certain countries as COVID-19 vaccinations continue on November 23; remain cognizant of updates

In Austria, international travel will remain operational despite exit restrictions that are in effect until December 12. In Belgium, effective November 26, vaccinated travelers arriving from ‘red list’ countries outside the EU or Schengen area will not be subject to COVID-19 testing or isolation upon arrival, provided they present a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours or rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours, prior to arrival. In Italy, health officials approved the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine using an mRNA vaccine five months after the second dose. In South Tyrol, discos and nightclubs are closed and facemasks are required in outdoor settings. In red municipalities, a curfew from 20:00-05:00 is in effect, and bars and restaurants must close at 18:00. In the Netherlands, hospitals are preparing for a ‘code black’ scenario, under which doctors will have to choose who to treat. In Norway, authorities will lift entry bans for all remaining countries, effective from November 26. In Spain, health authorities placed Malta on the ‘high-risk’ list for COVID-19 entry restrictions.

Those operating or residing in West Europe on November 23 and in the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ instructions regarding quarantines and health procedures.

 

Europe Notable Events

Denmark: Wind turbine manufacturer targeted by cyberattack, per November 22 reports; likely to disrupt international business operations

November 22 reports indicate that a Danish offshore wind turbine manufacturer was targeted by a cyberattack on November 19 after its internal IT systems were breached. The company shut down part of its business operations as a precaution. Although the incident did not impact third-party operations, including customer and supply chains, it compromised data. In recent years, multiple Danish companies have been targeted by cyberattacks, including an international container shipping firm.

The cyberattack is notable given that the company operates in 85 countries, with disruptions to the manufacturing, installation, and servicing process likely to significantly impact regions that rely on wind turbines as a power source. While the company did not disclose by what type of cyberattack they were targeted, current information suggests it was likely a ransomware attack. Further, the sophisticated nature of the cyberattack indicates that it was perpetrated by a well-established hacking network. With the incident following a series of cyberattacks on critical infrastructure in recent years and ransomware groups escalating their attacks for larger payouts, further such incidents are likely to be recorded in the near-to-medium-term.

 

Germany: Several injured in violent altercation between two groups on Rheinische Strasse, Dortmund on November 21; likely gang related

Several people were injured following an altercation between two groups on Rheinische Strasse, Dortmund, around 15:00 (local time) on November 21. Authorities confirmed that firearms and knives were used. Police arrested the suspects shortly after the incident. Details on the identities of those injured and the type of weapons used have not been released as of writing, although investigations are ongoing.

The fact that the suspects were armed strongly suggests that this was gang-related, as Germany restricts the use of firearms in public places under the Weapons Act and the War Weapons Control Act. That 112 Turkish and Arab organized criminal clans operate in the North Rhine-Westphalia supports this, with the attack likely linked to inter-gang conflict. Moreover, that the attack took place in central Dortmund during the afternoon hours indicates the incident posed a credible threat to bystanders. However, given that spillover violence is rare in Germany, this was likely an anomaly and not indicative of a wider trend. Regardless, security is likely to be bolstered in the vicinity of Rheinische Strasse in the coming days as a precaution.

 

Romania: PNL’s Ciuca nominated as PM in first rotation per coalition agreement on November 22; liable to win confidence vote

President Klaus Iohannis nominated Partidul National Liberal (PNL) candidate Nicolae Ciuca as the PM-designate after parliamentary consultations on November 22. This follows the coalition agreement between PNL, Partidul Social Democrat (PSD), and Uniunea Democrata Maghiara din Romania (UDMR) that approved a rotation of two prime ministers for 18 months each until 2024. Ciuca will appear for a confidence vote with a newly formed government on November 25.

Given that PNL nominated Ciuca as its PM candidate instead of former PM Florin Citu, PSD’s approval for Ciuca’s nomination for the first rotation was largely expected. Considering that the three-party alliance holds a majority in parliament, Ciuca is liable to win the confidence vote on November 25. The EU’s recovery funds will also be released based on Bucharest’s fulfillment of certain targets. However, given the inter-party differences on issues including social welfare and taxation policies, disagreements on these issues are liable to weaken the coalition in the medium to long term.

 

Russia & USA: Washington imposes new sanctions on Nord Stream 2-linked commercial entity on November 22; to exacerbate bilateral tensions

The USA imposed new sanctions on a Russia-linked shipping company and one vessel involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project on November 22. Pursuant to the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of 2019 (PEESA), the US Department of State had submitted a report to Congress listing two vessels involved in the pipeline construction. As of November 22, the USA has sanctioned eight persons and blocked 17 vessels, including one of the two listed vessels, the Marlin, although the second vessel was not sanctioned due to its affiliation with a German commercial entity.

Given Washington’s opposition to the Nord Stream 2 project, new sanctions on Russian commercial entities and vessels were largely expected. However, the timing of the announcement that comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow over Russia’s alleged military build-up near the Ukrainian border and ongoing energy crisis in Europe, indicates that the sanctions are likely imposed in response to the above developments. While the sanctions are unlikely to have a significant impact on the pipeline’s future operations, its likely to escalate Russia-USA tensions moving forward.

 

Notable Dates

November 25  

  • USA: Thanksgiving Day  

   

November 26  

  • Turks and Caicos: Thanksgiving Day  

   

November 28  

  • Albania: Independence Day  
  • Honduras: General election  

   

November 29  

  • Albania: Liberation Day 

  

November 30 

  • Albania: Liberation Day 
  • Barbados: Independence Day 
  • Romania: Feast of St. Andrew 

 

December 1 

  • Portugal: Independence Restoration Day 
  • Romania: National Day 

 

December 6

  • Finland: Independence Day
  • Spain: Constitution Day

 

What’s better, facing disaster or avoiding it altogether? MAX Security Solutions is a leading player in comprehensive security and risk management solutions.

What’s better, facing disaster or avoiding it altogether? MAX Security Solutions is a leading player in comprehensive security and risk management solutions.