Managing Director, Business Intelligence & Investigations, Kroll
There will be issues with resources, and that will have the most effect on the security side. Brazil has federal, regional and local police, but they are at different levels of training, and the size of these forces is not as large as in some other countries.
There is a lot of street crime, things like pickpocketing and carjacking incidents. But the wild card is that there have been a lot of demonstrations in Brazil. A protest can shut down streets and transportation, and you could get yourself stuck somewhere you don’t want to be.
Plan, plan, plan. The sooner the better. You have to have constant intelligence coming in to make all of your travel determinations.
Do your due diligence. From your travel agent to your security provider—do they have experience working in Brazil? Do they have a presence there now? Any security personnel used should be from the country; they have to have knowledge of the local government.
Prepare to be flexible. Labor unrest could pop up at a moment’s notice. Be willing to make use of alternative routes and itineraries, even at the last minute.
COO, The Guidry Group
The World Cup is always going to be a high-risk event, because soccer fans can be a problem. Throw in the issues Brazil has as an economy and a country, and it seems like Brazil is particularly challenged with this World Cup.
Look at Brazil even without the World Cup: Muggings are very common, armed robberies are common, kidnappings are frequent, human trafficking is a problem. A special event automatically increases the risk exponentially, and the larger the event, the greater the increase.
Get a head start . The closer you get to the event, the harder it is to find the resources you need. There are only a finite number of local people who have a certain set of skills, and everybody is going to want to hire the same people.
Travel with security. You are going to need some kind of protective detail while you are there. The lowest tier of protection that you can have is a security driver.
Consider staying home. With some clients, I would say don’t go at all. If you are at the top level of fame, then the only way you could go is by having a full protective team.
PAUL MICHAEL VIOLLIS SR., PHD
CEO, Risk Control Strategies
Being in Brazil presents unique problems because Americans don’t have much support. We do not enjoy a good relationship with the Brazilian government. I consider Brazil more dangerous than Sochi because it is incredibly unpredictable.
Brazil presents a high risk of express kidnappings—where victims are brought to multiple ATMs to take out cash over several hours—and violent crime. Also, Brazilian law enforcement isn’t exactly stellar. It’s like asking your local police department to handle Super Bowl security.
Fly private and hire a driver. Flying private cuts your risk of being the victim of a crime dramatically. I’m also telling my clients that they need a security driver from wheels down to wheels up. Both protect you while you are there and give you a quick exit strategy if necessary.
Leave all valuables at home. Jewelry, watches, even iPads: It all makes you a more prominent target.
Obtain real-time intelligence. You need to work with a security firm that bases its recommendations off of live intelligence, not historical data.