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Executive Protection Academy

Executive Protection Academy

Peruvian President's son's bodyguards assaulted and robbed of their weapons

On Monday, January 8, at around 10:30 p.m., in the city of Lima, Peru, three criminals assaulted two policemen who were working as bodyguards for the son of the Peruvian president, Dina Boluarte, while they were guarding his home.

According to Peru's Interior Minister Victor Torres, the two policemen "were half asleep" in the vehicle parked outside the home of Boluarte's son.

 

Several security camera videos released by local media show that the escorts' car was parked when another vehicle pulled up next to it. An apparently armed person got out of the car and assaulted the escorts, robbing them of their service weapons, as well as their cell phones, a watch, documents and personal cards. The assailants then fled in an unknown direction.

You don't need to be an expert in Executive Protection to realize the serious mistakes made by the protectors in this case. The most basic rule of personal safety is not to remain seated in a parked vehicle, much less while asleep. A large number of robberies and assaults occur to people in this position, making it statistically one of the most dangerous positions in the world. Not only did the escorts lack executive protection techniques, but they also lacked the most basic knowledge of personal safety.

Of course, this attack was not a coincidence. The criminals observed the bodyguards for several days or perhaps months before the assault without them realizing it, analyzed their behaviors, habits and surely realized that they had the tendency to be "half asleep" while guarding the president's son.

One of the frequent and serious mistakes made by protectors is to meet and talk once they have left the executive at their destination, completely ignoring their essential tasks. During standby time, protectors should set up observation points with proper separation between them, depending on operational circumstances, performing potential threat identification, deterrence, trying to detect hostile surveillance, etc. Being together and conversing exponentially increases the risks, but being asleep in a vehicle is the ultimate lack of professionalism.

Unfortunately, this is not the first case of this type. On August 6, the weapons of the Guatemalan president's bodyguards were also stolen, and there have been several cases in different Latin American countries where bodyguards were assaulted and even killed to take their weapons. This is just one of several ways in which the use of firearms can increase risks rather than reduce them in Executive Protection.

In this particular case, it is important to note that the protectors were police officers assigned to Executive Protection duties, which is a mistake as serious as it is frequent. We have seen the unfortunate results of these schemes in the assassination of Fernando Villavicencio in Ecuador, to mention just one example. There is a widespread fallacy that Executive Protection can be practiced by any police or military officer. This fallacy is claiming many lives. Executive protection is a sui generis profession that has its own methodology and specialized doctrine with specific skills and knowledge. Accepting this reality and training protectors accordingly will make our profession much more valued and, most importantly, much safer.

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