Travel to the Forbidden Zone — Part 3 of 3: Sorting out Mexico’s Image Problem

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics – Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

We continue to explore Mexico’s image problem with Pablo Weisz, International SOS’ Regional Security Manager, in the final installment of our Travel to the Forbidden Zone Hot Topic series.  Read last week’s post, where we examine real vs. perceived threats associated with travel to Mexico.

The best explanation regarding Mexico’s image problem is two-fold:

  • First, the speed at which the security environment has deteriorated has been a major factor rather than the frequency of incidents suffered by respondents. This is despite the fact that the country is considerably safer than others rated in this study.
  • Second, media over-reporting on the drug war has placed drug violence, a rare event affecting the business traveler and expatriate, as the central story.
High Risk Locations

International SOS 2011 Duty of Care and Travel Risk Management Global Benchmarking Study

The current security environment in Mexico should be carefully monitored and organizations operating there would be remiss to ignore it. This attention, however, should be nuanced by the fact that tougher operating environments persist in countries listed lower on the results of our study. Organizations operating in Mexico should follow these important measures:

  • Identify existing vulnerabilities of operations on the ground;
  • Communicate with stakeholders the nuances surrounding the security situation in the country separating perception from the aforementioned realities;
  • Develop travel policies that emphasize your Duty of Care;
  • Prepare travelers and expatriates ahead of deployment by providing common sense security awareness training;
  • Make efforts to track your travelers to determine their likelihood of exposure to existing threats;
  • Monitor changes in the security environment and adjust your security stance around these.

Learn more about Duty of Care on the International SOS blog, Dialogues on Duty of Care, at


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