Concerns about violence in Mexico have led a majority of firms polled to scale back their level of operations there, or to consider doing so, according to a new survey released by International SOS Assistance, Inc.
International SOS, which provides international healthcare, medical assistance and security services, polled executives from more than 300 international firms conducting business in Mexico. More than half (51.7 percent) indicated that concerns about violence had led their firms to scale back operations in Mexico, including travelling there, in the last 12 months. One-third (33.6 percent) of respondents said their firms had already reduced their level of operations there. An additional 18 percent stated their firms were considering doing so. Also, 36 percent of firms surveyed indicated that their organizations had experienced "criminal activity or attempted criminal activity" in Mexico in the last 12 months.
"The survey shows that organizations are increasingly concerned about violence and criminal activity in Mexico, but they also demonstrate that a nearly equal number of firms - 48.3 percent - have no plans to scale back their operations there. For many companies, the difference between being in one camp or the other is the ability to access security, medical and travel resources that support operations in challenging environments," said Alex Puig, regional security director, Americas, of a joint venture between International SOS and Control Risks.
"While many of these resources are sophisticated, or involve dedicated physical assets, common sense plays an important part, too," said Puig. For example, travelers should consider the following, he said. When registering with your hotel, release as little information as possible on your business in the country. Use your company's address, not your own. We recommend monitoring the local media and seeking security information on Mexico before travel to ensure risks to travelers are minimized.If accosted, do not resist, stay calm and comply. Assailants may resort to violence if challenged as they can be under the influence of drugs and are often armed. Do not use public transportation and avoid self-driving. Only use pre-arranged ground transportation with trusted/vetted local sponsors. Avoid all activities after nightfall that may put you at risk such as walking on foot or eating/drinking alone. 'Straight to work/straight to home' is a key precaution to mitigate exposure to violent crime. Do not venture into the suburbs or stray from the commercial center of the city you visit.