Security

US State Department Updates Travel Advisory for Mexico

State Department Puts 5 Mexican States on ‘Do Not Travel’ List

On Jan. 10, the United States Department of State unveiled a new travel advisory system in which countries, as well as some individual provinces, are assigned a safety rating on a scale from one to four. The lowest level on the scale, Level 1, is reserved for areas in which the Department of State advises travelers to exercise normal precautions, while a Level 4 designation means that US citizens should not travel to the area. The State Department’s purpose of releasing travel advisories is twofold, in that they set guidelines regarding where diplomatic personnel may travel, and inform US citizens of where there are significant threats to security.
Human Trafficking in Libya

Human Trafficking in Libya: A Tool within a Volatile Political Environment

Libya has made headlines recently for the horrific conditions endured by migrants and refugees detained in the country, but what the media has drawn less attention to is the prevailing security conditions and political dynamics in Libya that facilitate human trafficking. Much like oil facilities in Libya, human trafficking hubs represent strategic points of power due to the lucrative nature of human smuggling. On a broader level, controlling the flow of migrants also affords legitimacy in a politically competitive environment.
France Counterterrorism Measures Enshrined in New Law

Special Report: France - New Law Enshrines Robust Counterterrorism Measures

The expiration of France's State of Emergency, and its replacement with a new anti-terrorism law, indicates that French authorities view the threat of Islamist-inspired attacks as persistent and unchanged; in short, the state of heightened security will continue nationwide indefinitely. The anti-terrorism law, which came into effect Nov. 1, permanently grants security personnel the power to, with some exceptions unique to the State of Emergency, detain and question suspected terrorists, and increase surveillance at public events, transport hubs, and borders. A visibly heightened police and military presence - as well as related security alerts - at heavily trafficked locations throughout the country will likely prompt disruptions to transport and business operations.

Spain: Takeover of Catalonian Administration Likely to Prompt Continued Protests

Continued protest activity relating to tensions around the issue of Catalan independence is likely in the coming weeks after the Spanish federal government revoked Catalonian autonomy and dismissed the regional government. Although Madrid will now likely seek to de-escalate the crisis, campaigning ahead of fresh regional elections scheduled for Dec. 21 could encourage further demonstrations by both pro-Spain and pro-independence activists. However, it remains highly unlikely that the situation will deteriorate to the point where it poses a direct threat to foreign companies or travelers in Catalonia.

Citizens of Seven Countries Barred Entry to US by Executive Order; Reciprocal Bans Being Adopted or Considered

On Jan. 27, the US government issued an executive order banning citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen from entering the US for at least 90 days; all Syrian citizens are barred until further notice. The order also suspends the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. The Trump Administration has stated that more countries could be added to the travel ban via a presidential proclamation. Reciprocal travel restrictions are possible for US citizens traveling to the blacklisted countries.

Responding to Crisis Effectively

In crisis, efforts toward the planning, training, and coordination of resources enable an organization to surge toward the protection of its assets and operations during disruption. While there may be an effective plan to address these changes, monitoring is a critical component. Without this capability, changes in the risk profile could unknowingly surge beyond the capabilities of proactive mitigation strategies.

Forecasting Risk: How to Maximize Assessment Efforts Using Minimal Resources

Many organizations commit significant resources to forecast a market's growth potential. Before investing in a company, it is likely we would review a summary prospectus of their potential earnings. We also look to the National Weather Service for a forecast to determine our resource needs for a weather-dependent activity, days or possibly weeks, in advance. So why, given the need to conduct effective and efficient risk analysis beyond picking low-hanging fruit, is there such a limited effort to forecast risk? 
crisis-planning

How Much Crisis Planning is Enough?

 Long ago, I was given some sage advice prior to briefing proposed Crisis Planning improvements to the executive team. My boss said, Remember Mike, whatever you're talking about, you're talking about money. This truism is an unrelenting one. In tandem with day-to-day operational constraints and limitations, the threat of an event evolving into a crisis consistently challenges an organization's management team to walk a tight rope between adequate mitigation efforts and fiscal need.

Drug Trafficking Landscape in Mexico: Looking Ahead to 2017

As a follow on to our August 17th Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) in Mexico security preparedness webinar, we'll explore the rivalry between two of Mexico's most powerful DTOs and provide a forward-looking analysis of how the drug trafficking landscape might change over the next year. 
crisis-management-team

Building a Successful Crisis Management Team

Widespread instability and growing threats to vital organizational interests are indelible on the canvas of the foreseeable future. As no two events are identical, no plan can anticipate or address every possible circumstance. In response, many organizations staff a Crisis Management Team and assign roles and responsibilities. However, implementing this effort alone is inadequate to address the dynamic nature of crisis.
drug-trafficking-organizations-in-mexico

Drug Trafficking Organizations in Mexico

Organized crime groups, commonly referred to as drug trafficking organizations, operate throughout Mexico, and are the primary threat to business activity in the country. Since the disintegration of the Cali and Medellin cartels in Colombia in the early 1990s, Mexican drug trafficking organizations have come to dominate most aspects of the wholesale illicit drug market, including major supply chains into North America, Europe, and parts of Asia. The fragmentation of Mexico's DTOs suggests that the proliferation of groups relying on revenue from localized sources that can affect commercial income will remain a threat in the foreseeable future.

Travel Security Hotline Benefits and Best Practices for Protocols

Implementing a hotline provides substantial benefits beyond event reporting and assistance requests. When effectively established, they include predetermined event response protocols based upon the characteristics in a risk profile. This extends a high level of flexibility in building protocols tailored to specific world events in support of the entity’s risk mitigation strategies.

Live from Rio: Protesters Serve as Welcoming Committee at Galeo International Airport

iJET Americas Intelligence Analyst, Abbott Matthews is on the ground in Brazil to cover the Rio 2016 Olympic Games throughout August. Stay tuned for related iJET alerts and Olympic Briefs in the Daily Intelligence Briefing beginning Aug. 5.

Building a Global Security Operations Center vs. Outsourcing

Building a Global Security Operations Center (GSOC), versus outsourcing the activity to a third-party provider, can create substantial controversy around the conference room table. The best way to offset this is to frame the discussion by documenting key points. This provides the data necessary to move the process forward. Let’s look at four major areas in defining the scope and aiding decision-making...

Personal Protective Measures for Today’s Global Citizens

Personal protection tips are based on the last 50 years where we have seen significant changes in the travel security industry. From the Post Vietnam War era of kidnapping and ransom scenarios throughout South America to terror attacks against western cultures in Europe and the US, the number and types of threats faced by travelers continues to increase. Unfortunately, what we have yet to see is same level of advancement in mitigation strategies and personal protective measures.