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New Survey Shows Concerns About Violence in Mexico Leading International Firms to Reassess Operations There

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 Corporate News J E 4
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More Than 50 Percent of Firms Polled Have Scaled Back Operations in Mexico, Or Are Considering Doing So

PHILADELPHIA, July 13 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.
  • In the event of an emergency, travelers should contact their embassy or the International SOS alarm center.

About International SOS

International SOS (http://www.internationalsos.com) is the world's leading international healthcare, medical assistance, and security services company. Operating in over 70 countries, International SOS provides integrated medical, clinical, and security solutions to organizations with international operations. Services include planning and preventative programs, in-country expertise, and emergency response. A global team of 6,000 employees led by 900 full-time physicians and 200 security specialists provides health and security support to enable its members to operate wherever they work or travel. Members include 66 percent of the Fortune Global 500 companies.

SOURCE International SOS

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