While at a conference recently, a speaker was talking about working with the indigenous communities in new mining areas of interest. The speaker was an expert on indigenous relations in Chile and other Latin American regions, and consulted with companies to streamline operations and build communities.
The panel members were discussing the various elements of operating in Latin America and when a member of the audience asked about security, in Mexico specifically, I was shocked with the response. The expert on indigenous relations spoke up and suggested that security was not an issue. He continued stating that there were worse areas in Africa where companies operate without issue. The fact that the speaker suggested that security was a non-issue in Mexico is dangerous.
A security assessment should be conducted for any new area that a company plans on beginning operations, even if it’s in the US or Canada. For Mexico, and other countries in Latin America, there are other elements to consider though. What does the political horizon look like currently and in the near future? Are there any cartels or criminal entities operating in the area? Could there be threats from violent extremist organizations? Is the area prone to natural disaster e.g. flooding? Are there suitable areas for expats and their families, etc.?
Failure to ensure that professional audits and contingencies are in place for the security of your people and business can be very costly.
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