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3 reasons why foreign security companies should hire a local strategic partner for Executive Protection in Latin America

It’s no mystery that security and specially risks are not the same in every country and even less in every continent. Latin America dominated global homicide and corruption ranking in 2018, fact which makes it a high risk level region for foreigners who travel there. Countries like Venezuela, El Salvador, Jamaica, Honduras, Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala and Brazil ranked with highest points in the region for homicide and 5 countries of Latin America had highest corruption rates in the world during 2018. The following 3 reasons explain why it’s not only more practical but more efficient in terms of customer service, cost effective and security for foreign security companies to partnership with local security companies for executive protection services than to create their own operations in Latin America.

1. Local employees of local security companies have full immersion of the language, culture and local risks

For security agents to offer an optimum protection service to a client in regions with high risk levels of public safety, its crucial and almost mandatory for them to be 100% familiar with the local language, culture but most of all risks. Security agents are the communication intermediates between the principal and every other contact they have in Latin America, so full knowledge of both the local and foreign language of the client are a must for the security operation to work smoothly and to flow.  On the other hand, even though many countries in Latin America share similarities in culture, each one keeps specific cultural aspects that are essential to know in order to be able to blend with others and avoid uncomfortable situations that can jeopardize the principal’s safety.  Risks are also similar in almost every country of Latin America, in aspects such as public transportation, accepting services from strangers, use of credit cards and ATMs, street thefts, among many others. But having complete knowledge of red, yellow and green areas to understand levels of risk for each city is necessary to be able to make a prior risk analysis of routes for clients according to their agendas.

2. Faster implementation and adaptation

For foreign security companies to install complete operations in all of Latin America is an expensive and slow process, as foreign security officers and EP Agents would have to be trained in local risks, learn local language and culture. This three aspects all together would take a long time to be fully managed and so for the security company to guarantee an excellent customer service and most important, client’s security when abroad. Another issue, is for all the foreign security team to fully adapt to the local culture. This can take a while for them to be able to understand local risks and vulnerabilities, so that they can react efficiently according to local procedures in case of a security event and also to be able to make an efficient and realistic prior risk analysis and security plan. It’s not the same to be a victim of a public shooting in Colombia as it is in Italy. Demonstrations and protests are part of the Latin American culture and people involved can have a more violent and impulsive character. Also, common thieves won’t hesitate to steal a purse or cell phone, they are willing to kill for it. Public safety Levels of risk in Bogota, Colombia  So in all, a local security team will definitely be more effective and reliable to handle a security operation in terms of faster and cost effects implementation and adaptation.

3. Training and hiring process

In terms of training and hiring process for EP agents, these too are more reliable and cost effective if done by a local security company. All members of the security team must receive specific training according to risk levels for each country and how they can react is different also depending on local police support, knowledge of common road blocks for evacuations of the client, driving training within transit regulations of each country and the use of arms regulations is also different for each region. In this case, it’s definitely better to hire EP Agents locally from the city were the security company’s client is traveling to. The hiring process implies different profile requirements that are costumed designed by the local security company in relation with public safety and common risks and threats present in the country, so that they can guarantee the client will be protected by security agents who are familiar with the local risks and threats and have received the appropriate training to minimize impact and react efficiently according to their expertise knowledge of the region.