Executive Protection Academy

Executive Protection Academy

Counter-surveillance in Executive Protection: most important but least used.

Several months ago, I wrote an article about the non-existent prevention structure in the executive protectionI was particularly emphasizing the absence of counter-surveillance in daily operations, to which some colleagues commented to me that counter-surveillance is a method that has been known in Mexico for many years. Of course, I never said that I "invented" counter-surveillance, nor that it is something unknown to professionals; but, I insist, it is a method almost totally out of use in the vast majority of security groups currently operating.

The recent unfortunate attacks in Mexico City are proving me right. In the attacks on Norberto Rivera's house in 2018, on the Secretary of Citizen Security, Omar García Harfuch, in 2020 and in the most recent attack against the restaurant businessman Eduardo Beaven, in the vicinity of the capital's airport, subsequent investigations have shown that the victims were objects of hostile surveillance by criminals months before the aggression, without being detected in a timely manner.

As we well know, the attack on an executive lasts only a few moments, but the preparation for this attack involves prolonged observation and monitoring against the victim by the criminals, a process that, as we have seen, can last for months. Counter-surveillance detects and defuses the attack in this early observation phase without exposing the protégé to the risks and uncertainty involved in the reaction.

If a structured counter-surveillance system had been in place in the cases mentioned above, specialists in this technique would have detected the presence of the criminals and defused the attack months before it was executed, thus avoiding human losses. These techniques are explained with real-life examples in the book Executive Protection in the 21st Century, The New Doctrine.

What else has to happen for us to give up dangerous fantasies of guns and reaction and shift the operational weight in the executive protection Did the company develop counter-surveillance and early warning methods to prevent the loss of life of both protectees and their protectors?