Traveling can be an exciting opportunity, but it’s important to recognize how dangerous some areas can be and how much of a target you can become while traveling. Recent events in Mexico – a popular travel destination – reveal how dangerous it really is. Cartels have strongholds on several states and cities within Mexico that pose a threat to citizens and travelers. The Sinaloa Cartel, for example, is one of the most ruthless and powerful. Recently, they overpowered the Mexican Army. As TIME notes, they “openly drove in trucks with mounted machine guns, blockaded streets flashing their Kalashnikovs and burned trucks unleashing plumes of smoke like it was a scene in Syria.”
The other parts of the world are just as dangerous and you as a business traveler and/or corporate executive are at risk for kidnapping, extortion, robbery, wiretaps, and a host of problems that may occur. In order to practice awareness, we recommend you contact the D.S. State Department for areas that they consider hazardous and dangerous.
Remember to never travel alone. Traveling alone makes you an easy target, as there is no one else watching out for you or keeping an eye on your personal belongings. If you do need to travel alone, stay in well-lit and populated areas. Do not walk alone at night in unfamiliar areas where you could become a victim of a serious crime.
While this one might not be as obvious, you should limit your travel itinerary only to trusted co-workers and family members. Posting online where you are and where you are going can be a direct invitation for danger. Similarly, do not tell strangers or people you just met what your plans are and where to find you.
These tips are not limited to walking around or when you are sight-seeing and moving around. You should also be careful in your hotel room. Always assume you may be listened to by government officials or the criminal elements who may have contacts within the hotel you are staying at. Be aware that there is the possibility there are cameras in your room, hidden from your knowledge.
We recommend you utilize a security staff who has professional contacts and relationships with the host country you are traveling to.
At Forletta Investigative Security Consultants we have the professional resources and will coordinate your travel with highly trained security groups with personnel that are former military, and former federal agents. Contact us for more information and more knowledge on keeping yourself safe.