Formula 1 racing returns to Mexico with the next race set for November 2015. This event will attract many U.S., Canadian and Latin American fans. Many corporate sponsors will also have VIP and guests travelling to Mexico.
Mexico has recently faced a number of high profile, well-organized protests regarding the disappearance of 43 teachers. Will the protesters take this opportunity to bring attention to their cause? Recently Coca Cola had a facility targeted in Mexico. During the attack, firebombs were tossed and individuals kidnapped. Coca Cola is reported to be contemplating relocating operations to a safer area. These events are just two of the more recent high profile events.
As we know Mexico suffers from high crime rates and ranks as one of the most dangerous countries in the world. The disappearance of the teachers pointed to some other troubling discoveries. Local political leaders along with the police and cartels all had a hand in the disappearance.
The auto industry in Mexico is set to overtake Canada in the number of vehicles produced. If oil prices rebound and efforts continue to allow for foreign investment in the oil sector, more and more business travel to Mexico will occur.
What does all this mean for those in corporate security, human resources, corporate travel and event management?
You will require:
- To complete risk assessments to fully understand risks and challenges
- Intelligence gathering and monitoring
- Development of security plans for various levels of travellers
- Pre-trip security briefings
- To review medical plans
- To ensure crisis communication measures are in place
- Budgeting and recommendations for security coverage
- To work with vendors in country to coordinate efforts
Duty of Care obligations need to be communicated to all stakeholders to ensure all parties understand the risk and consequences. You may need to engage security drivers and vehicles for executives. For some groups, GPS tracking and panic devices should be considered to support those with a lower risk profile. VIP guests should be afforded additional security measures. Event based social media monitoring is also becoming a tool that many firms utilize prior to and during events. Threat risk assessments of hotels, event venues and routes will all become part of an overall plan.
The key is to have a plan. November is just around the corner and many firms have already commenced with plans. If you would like more information surrounding the upcoming Formula 1 race and security planning please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a time to speak with one of our risk mitigation specialists for Mexico.