Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Caught In The Middle In Mexico

I spent last week in Mexico City training Mexican security agents in executive protection practices.  I listened carefully to how they went about their daily jobs of moving their clients around, normally in large, expensive, sometimes armored SUVs.  The agents worked mostly alone, at times they had a driver, but that was pretty much it.  In terms of weapons, suffice it to say that they had none.

I can't envision a worse security practice than this.  The Mexican details travel in high-profile, expensive vehicles, but lack the assets to effectively protect any of it.  They might as well be running a CarMax for the drug cartels.  These security details are attacked often for nothing more than their vehicles, sometimes the occupants can be held for ransom, but the expensive, shiny SUVs are the main targets. A fully armored SUV can cost well over $225,000, a lucrative target to say the least.

I attempted to explain the low-profile/high-profile continuum, but it was like talking to a wall.  They saw the wisdom, but are constrained by the desires of the people that they protect.  In other words, the clients want the flash and luxury of the shinny SUVs, but don't want to spend the money on the assets needed to actually protect them.  "Welcome to CarMax, how can we help you?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Were these protection people working strictly for Americans and other foreigners visiting Mexico?

I cannot imagine many wealthy Mexicans using these types of vehicles anywhere outside of the Mexico DF. Most know better and use non-descript vehicles such as armored VW Jettas.

That said, the US Embassy's people in Mexico use nothing but large flashy vehicles such as Suburbans with blacked out windows and US Government or diplomatic plates that attract unwanted attention or problems. They use these official vehicles for any trip to any part of Mexico, and not just within the DF. The same people "protecting" us can't figure out how to protect themselves.