Executive Protection Academy

Executive Protection Academy

Russian Roulette of Executive Protection Reaction: Reflections on the Tragic Loss of an Escort in Uruapan

On the night of April 21, 2023, in Uruapan, Michoacán, a shooting took the life of an escort while defending his executive from a criminal who tried to take his vehicle.

In the last two years in Mexico alone, there have been two escorts killed, one executive killed and four escorts injured due to the reckless adoption of tactics involving armed agents in unarmored vehicles. This approach increases rather than mitigates risk, as the risk of loss of a watch or vehicle (insured) becomes the risk of loss of life for both the executive and his protector. I have discussed this issue at length in a previous article:

Never request armed drivers in unarmored vehicles, please.

Last week, an executive lost his life in a coffee shop in Tulum, Mexico, during a shootout that erupted when they tried to defend him with firearms against an attempted robbery of his watch. Today, the watch and vehicle are still intact, but an escort and a protégé have died in two separate incidents involving similar situations: confronting robberies with firearms while the executive is present.

In all these cases, the protectors acted courageously and decisively, following their training and beliefs. The responsibility does not lie with them, but with those who hire, train and send them to work without providing them with a comprehensive understanding of the profession and the necessary tools to do their job effectively. It is more than proven that the use of firearms alone is not only insufficient, but detrimental in some situations. Clients should not expect to save money by hiring armed escorts in order not to invest in armored vehicles, as this apparent saving may prove to be tragic. Firearms and armored vehicles are two different tools used for different purposes and one cannot be used to substitute or save the other.

Furthermore, it is irrational and inhumane for the client to see it as acceptable to risk his life and the life of his protector for the value of a watch or the deductible of an insured vehicle, when facing a robbery with firearms.

To preserve lives in the field of executive protection, it is essential that both protectees and protectors acquire solid knowledge in what we call the Compass of Executive Protection. The four cardinal points of this compass are: Intelligence, Counter-Surveillance, Protective Logistics and Early Warning; and at its core is collaboration with the executive, achieved through our communication and persuasion skills. Only then will this profession be safer for both protectees and protectors.