Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tip of the Day: For Emphasis, There Are No "Safe" Countries!

It is my hope that both new and long-term loyal readers over the years have come to the conclusion that there are "no" safe countries anywhere around the globe.

I understand that I have said this numerous times in the past and no doubt will continue to emphasize this critically important point in the future: Bad things do really happen to "good" people.

The largest difference between developed and developing nations is that first-responder actions in developed nations possess greater infrastructure and enhanced certainty of emergency personnel actually "showing up."  

Developed nations also tend to "over-train" for every conceivable calamity. Hence, they tend to be much better prepared for life-threatening emergencies.

I am a fervent believer that all of us need to be as self-sufficient as possible when we leave our homes and go abroad, when we're forced to step out of our comfort-zones, where we often know much less about the nations we're destined for than those where we're from.

I also take this opportunity to expand upon so many of the risk management factors that underline what "proactive" personal security awareness really means:

1. "Proactive" is defined as travelers who "don't leave their personal security awareness in the hands of anyone but themselves," largely because no one has a greater vested-interest in your well-being than them;

2. I hesitate to even bring this up, but sadly, the majority of foreign travelers engage in "zero" research before departure, ignoring virtually all issues pertaining to cultural mores, local laws, learning the language, which countries are "tough" on drug possession;
3. A corollary to the above statement is that all travelers should consider hiring an international security consultant with vast experience in protecting foreigners in developing countries to help them identify their own individual and organizational security vulnerabilities vis-a-vis, largely because they simply cannot be an expert in all subjects;

4. Most foreign travelers assume that their embassies and consulates will reconcile any trouble citizens get into while traveling abroad. Not true;

I respectfully disagree on the basis that all foreign embassies and consulates fail to measure up to the expectations of the majority of foreign citizens;

From a US perspective, I have seen the US Department of State deliberately fail to investigate and prosecute US citizen victims of violent crime, even when murdered, although the Department interestingly does prosecute US citizen victims of terrorism, but not victims of violent crime, which dwarf acts of terrorism;

5. One of the major influences that contribute to violent crime abroad is that very few foreign travelers, at least data-wise, access their foreign ministry's on-line website to access travel alerts and warnings that may discourage them from engaging in provocative or illegal conduct that may result in their being fined, detained and/or incarcerated; and

6. Most important, I strongly DISCOURAGE all foreign travelers from resisting an armed robbery, particularly when assailants are armed with lethal weapons. I make this vigorous recommendation for the following reasons:

a. Foreign criminals kill their victims without compunction every day;

b. They kill victims so that there is no complainant;  and

c. No amount of property is worth your life.