Saturday, April 5, 2014

Brazil: British Expat, 48, Father of Three, Shot, Killed in Attempted Carjacking in Niteroi

According to the BBC, British expat Peter Campsie, 48, was shot and killed in an attempted carjacking of his Lexus near the town of Niteroi late on Wednesday afternoon (April 2), which is located in Rio de Janeiro state.

Scot Campsie was shot and killed as two gunmen attempted to claim ownership to the expat's luxury vehicle.

At the time of his death, Scot served as operations manager of Diamond Offshore Drilling, according to Aberdeen-based Press and Journal newspaper.

Mr. Campsie was actually on his way home to his family, Brazilian wife, Janaina, and their ten-year-old daughter, when the carjacking occurred. 

Scot also had two sons.  

Originally from Montrose, Angus, Scot Campsie had worked in Brazil for 16 years. Scot, Janaina and their daughter lived in Macaé.

COMMENT: First of all, my condolences and prayers go out to Scot's  extended family and hope the best for all of them during this time of grief.

Every time I see a Brazilian, an expat or a foreign traveler die from violence in Brazil it truly impacts negatively on me.

Although Brazil has accomplished so much in the 25+ years I've been traveling to the country, the one negative factor that has dragged the nation down over all of these years is the fact that for decades the US Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), has classified the criminal threat in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro from violent crime as "Critical" for decades.

Although I'm hardly a statistician, prolonged crisis-level crime has to have had a negative impact on Brazil's gdp over the years. If the government of President Dilma Rousseff were to calculate the historic period of time that Rio's and São Paulo's threat level has been at "Critical" threat, could be massive.

Macaé (population 206,000) is generally considered to be the center of the Brazil's offshore petroleum industry. Consequently, it has been characterized as "Cidade do Petróleo" ("City of Petroleum"). Petrobras, the state-owned energy company, had many facilities in Macaé.

At last count, Macaé is one of the fastest-growing cities in Brazil, with a growth rate of 600% within the last 10 years. Benedito Lacerda Airport is served by scheduled flights and concentrates operations to off-shore platforms.

It is understood that Mr. Campsie died at the scene from the attempted carjacking. 

I would be remiss to this blog's existence if I didn't offer some analysis as to how other Brazilians, expats and foreign travelers to Brazil might very well avoid the plight that claimed Scot's death.

Forgive me, but I've always taken my responsibility to save the lives of other people very seriously. Thus, my observations are based on 22 years as a US Department of State special agent and 25 years as an international security consultant:

1. First and foremost, I strongly DISCOURAGE working expats from owning a luxury vehicle, on the basis that the type of vehicle an expat drives "flags" a great deal about their net-worth and assets. I would be interesting to know how long he had been driving a Lexus?;

What type of vehicle do I recommend: A moderately priced Toyota sedan with a V-6 and a non-flashy color that suggests low-profile;

2. It surprises me that during his sixteen years in living as an expat in Brazil, Mr. Campsie had never been a crime victim. For a person who apparently was influenced by status, it is puzzling why he had not been targeted previously;

3. By living in Mcaé, "Petroleum City," Campsie labeled himself as a major player in the petroleum industry in Brazil, which rendered him an ideal target; and

4. It is not known where Mr. Campsie's office was situated? If it was in Macaé, his movements must have been surveilled prior to the attempted carjacking. The fact that the target was not aware of pre-incident surveillance suggests that he had never been trained in techniques of counter-surveillance;

It would also be interesting to know whether he drove himself or had a driver? Typically, expats who delegate their life to an executive driver incorrectly delegate  their responsibilities to others;

I have for years strongly encouraged all expats working and living in Brazil to obtain intensive "hands-on" driving experience from a reputable professional driving school so as to afford them the skills to successfully react to an attempted carjacking and how to counter a vehicular kidnapping;

Typically, I urge all expats to drive themselves, as evidence of an executive drivers sends a very strong signal to carjackers and kidnappers that a 24/7 driver hints of a highly-paid executive; and

5. This point applies to those enlightened executives who hire an experienced security consultant BEFORE anything bad happens. Proactive expats know from experience that determining weaknesses in executive security is the only way of preventing an attack in the future;

Such an assessment enables a consultant to capture critically valuable data from the executive and his/her family members, as all or a single target are subject to threat; and

I cannot overemphasize a pre-incident executive assessment. It is essential to preventing an attack BEFORE it occurs.

One FINAL point. By far the MOST important:

NEVER, EVER resist an armed carjacking or kidnapping. First of all, you're going to be outgunned and deal with assailants who kill for a living.

Remember, nothing material in your life is worth dying for! Any property can be replaced, but you can't!