On Friday, June 9, three bodyguards of the mayor of La Concordia, Chiapas, Miguel Ángel Córdova Ochoa, were killed when an armed group attacked their vehicle in the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez.
When these types of unfortunate incidents occur, the information received in the media is usually not very reliable, as they replicate the first versions of the facts without doing a proper investigation, which can result in misinformation. Most of the newspapers handled the story that the mayor was traveling in the vehicle at the time of the attack and that he managed to get out and take shelter unharmed in the school, all this under fire that killed three of his protectors, which is implausible. What actually happened is that the mayor had already arrived at the school and was inside the school when his Suburban van was attacked.
Although there are still many unknowns surrounding the case, some conclusions are evident:
- The implementation of armored vehicles is essential to significantly reduce risks in this type of operational circumstances.
- Basing executive protection solely on the deployment of armed escorts is deadly.
- Fence protection alone is totally ineffective.
- Counter surveillance and early warning are essential to reduce risks and save lives.
In the last 10 months, 11 protectors have lost their lives in Mexico in improvised operations based on close protection and the use of armed escorts that have historically proven ineffective. Only a change in operational approach that prioritizes intelligence and anticipatory protection can make this profession safer for both protectees and protectors.