LATAM Operations – Lessons From a Career Operating in the Region | Joe Gehr

Operating in any foreign or unknown environment will present challenges and Latin America is no exception. The continent of South America is vast, rich, and diverse with cultural, economic and political threats differing from region to region but what generalisations can we make, if any, to enhance our protective operations?

This week our guest is Joe Gehr, founder of Technon LLC, a company with a large focus on tailored security solutions for clients operating in Latin America. In addition to being a native of the LatAm region, Joe shares his vast knowledge of extensive regional operations. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • Threat Landscape – An up-to-date overview of the current operating environment
  • Cultural sensitivities – what to look out for and how to reduce the friction.
  • Common threats – What unique challenges do protectors need to know.
  • The Miami/LatAm corridor – Why Miami should be your first port of call on any LatAm trip.

 If you take nothing else away from this interview, remember Joe’s Golden Rule:

“Have a plan, do your homework and then have a backup plan. Then have a backup plan to the backup plan.”

More about Joe

Joe is the founder of Technon LLC, and is a recognized professional in the fields of security and preparedness. Joe has over 20 year’s experience in these fields including 10 years of security work in Israel – where he is a veteran of the Israeli security establishment and an officer with the Israel Defense Forces. He is an experienced international consultant providing security, intelligence, and counter-terrorism advisory services to governments, organizations and corporations. Joe has been a guest commentator on protection, security and terrorism topics for news organizations such as CNN, FOX, CBS, NBC, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO, RTL, CARACOL, and other networks.

Joe is currently involved in a start-up that uses mobile technology to make communities safer.

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Technon:

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The Circuit team is:

  • Elijah Shaw
  • Jon Moss
  • Shaun West
  • Phelim Rowe

 

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Transcript
Joe Gehr:

have a plan, do your homework and then have a backup plan. Then have a backup plan, have the backup plan.

Phelim:

Traveling to Latin America and using Miami as a hub is a topic that doesn't just apply to us operators, but operators throughout the world. Um, I'm here with Shawn west live at the international security expo. We're going to look at this topic a little bit later with Joe Gehr, uh, CEO of Technon, uh, LLC, great friend of the industry. Um, and, and this topic really transcends geographies to a more precise instruction on how to address. In Miami, how to look for work. And, uh, and why maybe in this current climate, that's a good thing. Um, Sean, uh, what what'd you think we can learn today from this topic

Shaun:

looking forward to hearing from Joe? It's always good to hear from subject matter experts in different locales. I do another great experience of working in Latin America. Um, so be good to learn from someone such as Joe here. There's a lot of experience in operating out there, um, with all the pitfalls. Well, you can expect, so, yeah, because I'm looking

Phelim:

forward to it. Absolutely. Because I mean, it is good when we bring on a guest and we say, here's an expos, Hey, on this geography, like we did with Hilda looking at west Africa, um, what, I think this has something that connects the dots, you know, I'm, I'm acutely aware that, you know, alongside the international security expo, Uh, there was the GSX in Orlando. So a big shout out to anyone out there that's ended that event. Um, obviously travel is a bit restricted still, but you know, anyone, anyone that made it to that event, uh, great news. I know there was a great VIP mixer as well. Um, in terms of the event itself, it's been a pleasure. Walk around, see some of the exhibitors. And I think people are just genuinely happy to be back and to see each other. So it's interesting

Shaun:

that I do enjoy attending these exploits from many years. We exhibited the us, the BB and the surrogate magazine, this event we didn't. So it was nice to not be of the younger million bucks we're starting and actually to get out and network with people, um, visit different stuff and see what. Um, yeah. So anyone who hasn't been to these events, like, you know, there's a lot to dig away there. I visiting them. But I think when you attend them, you have to have a plan because you can go there. They're so big and vast, so many providers, people, if you go there, you can get swept away. If you leave without a plan to think of something you're going to get. Look at the period of some companies you're looking to meet. You can get the event guide when you go through. Um, and have a plum when you walk around them. So when you arrive, you can leave and take something away with you.

Phelim:

Indeed plan, plan plan, which in a way is a big flavor of today's interview. Uh, joker is a big planner and his message. I think you'll see with, you know, comes out loud and clear plan before you go to LATAM. Maybe, maybe I've just coined that phrase plan before. I dunno, but what we do know is that the Miami corridor is a useful and important stop off point for our community. So let's hear it. Uh, Joe Gehr, CEO of teknon and big friend of the industry, uh, talking about that amazing corridor.

Joe Gehr:

The

Phelim:

Miami LATAM corridor, very important string to the protectors boat, not just in the United States, but around the world today. We're very honored to be meeting with CEO of teknon. Together John Musk and myself, we're going to explore this corridor, what it means and some tips and tricks, especially when operating in the LATAM region. Um, Joe, it's a pleasure to have you on how you doing

Joe Gehr:

fantastic pleasure to see you. And thank you again for having me one of your great programs.

Phelim:

My pleasure. My pleasure. Well, obviously with the circuit magazine podcast, we do things often thematically. So this theme of LATAM, Miami as a corridor, can you give us a bit of a flavor of what we're trying to achieve by, by shining a light on this? What should people better understand?

Joe Gehr:

Okay. So I think we should start from the basics, right? So what is Latin? Right. So Latin stands for Latin America, and that means a little more than south America. That includes central America includes Mexico, the Caribbean, et cetera. So all in all, it's a little more than 20 countries. Or territory's. Um, and then that brings each of those, bring their own flavor to them. Right. So it's different demographics. So one of the things fell in that, and we were talking offline is that, you know, LATAM is a region, right. But you can, you should be doing this for every other part of the world you're going to go visit. Right. So I like to call it the macro to micro. And in my organization. And so we have to understand, you know, like the little Google earth that moves around and it shows you a region of the world and you start zooming into a continent and then you zoom in to a country, to a city, to a neighborhood, into a location, for example. And then as you do that, you, you learn, you should be learning around as much as you can about those regions or is relevant information about that. So I got a lot of time it's more than 20 minutes. Demographics, uh, you'd have a, you know, a very rich, um, mixture of whites, blacks, Asians, Mestizos. Mulattos it's multi-ethnic it's a fast. Countries. We have huge countries like Brazil, for example, it's over 200 million, the population Mexico, 125 million, more or less, um, Columbia, 50 million Argentina, two all the way down to countries like, um, or Y with or Puerto Rico, which is actually part of that, them to, uh, with 3 million or worldwide with 3.3 for Costa Rica. Right. Languages, of course, Spanish is in the vast majority, but you also have hubs of, for example, a very important one Portuguese in Brazil, or you have French in Haiti and the, and the or Dutch in the Caribbean. Right. So Ruba, Curacao Serinam, et cetera, different religions. Yeah, politics. So again, here, it starts getting interesting in, in terms of our. Our listeners or viewers, um, politics. Right? So most of the countries have democracies there, you know, Ben as well, for example, has an authoritarian regime right now. Last year. And then, you know, you start getting into problems like political instability, institutional weakness, of course, insecurity crime drug trafficking. So of these places, um, through some of the areas of the region, poverty, social inequality, and this brings a whole host of problems that you can get. Right. And then you can also of course understand, um, you know, the regions also in terms of, for example, natural disasters, right? So. With, uh, with the principal to place like Mexico, for example, this should be part of your plan because it happens quite often, like some areas of California. So in overall, you know, this is like the introduction to that time. And of course there's a ton of different sources that you can go and visit and get really good information.

Phelim:

And what about you, your, your, your passion, your backstory, your, sort of your drive to combine that wonderful Miami south, Florida and LATAM region. Can you give us a flavor of where you're coming from?

Joe Gehr:

Sure. So you mean the, yeah. So being in Miami, of course, a girl talking offline as well, you're really in the gateway between the U S or actually even other parts of the world that we're talking about. Like Europe, UK, um, you typically get to LATAM or to south America through the Miami hub. So it's a great hub. Um, we were joking offline that, that Miami sometimes consider the, the capital of LATAM. And so for security professionals, Um, stopping in or in Miami or having the right contacts in Miami when you're going to go and take your principal down to one of the countries in Latin America is, um, is very beneficial, right? Because most likely you will have, you know, if you're going to Brazil for, to give you an example, you can definitely hook up with some really good guys in Miami that, that know the security slash IP space in Brazil. Right. Same thing with all the other countries. So, so that's a really good start. Right? You get the best of all worlds in Miami, as you start preparing and doing your advanced preparations for, for a

Phelim:

trick. And what about you? Tell us, tell us a bit about you and your background.

Joe Gehr:

So my background, um, in the crucible of these two topics, we're talking about involves having been born in Latin American culture. I was born there. I grew up, um, in the eighties, in the, you know, being a teenager in the eighties, I had to experience firsthand the scenes that are now made a very famous by Netflix series like Narcos and you know, that whole, that whole time in history, we had, uh, all these problems with, uh, with, uh, drug dealing cartels and the wars between them. That was, that was a very difficult, and I dare to say eyeopening and security awareness and handling, um, place to be living in those signs. Because if you're not aware, you could end up at the wrong place at the wrong time and you know, like many others and, and being one of those shootings, um, bombings, you name it. Right. And then of course the whole. Adversarial mindset that comes with that. Right? So you start, even as a teenager, when you were going out with friends, the shopping center, you start being very wary of who's looking at you, where are they looking at? You, you start understanding what suspicious activity means. And so all these things in my personal story had a, probably a very important role in, in my, in my background and in my story, right from there, then I moved to Israel. And I ended up, uh, having a great, uh, decade there, um, working in the fields of security and intelligence, fascinating work, fascinating. Uh, also at times in history, um, going to different details there, but not relevant to this, this conversation, and then in 2004, post nine 11, um, I basically got down to Miami and I've been there since so 17 years. Um, very interesting times also post nine 11 with all the changes, you know, structurally that happened in the U S in those days, the creation of the. The department of Homeland security, the TSA, all the lessons learned all the different approaches that are tried and, and, uh, and then we had the whole time, the whole epoch of, um, active shooter incidents, right in schools. Movie theaters in. So anyway, that's a, in a nutshell, a summary of my, my touching points with this, uh, with this field and how that has somehow shaped what we call today in, in teknon our, our proactive security approach, right,

Jon:

Joe, is a great place to jump in, actually. So you know that first of all, great introduction and, uh, I can definitely see from the background, why you moved into security and protective services. So absolutely no question that this was a really good field for you. Uh, but I just wanted to jump in at this point, cause you know, whenever we traveled to a different zone, different areas, something we're not familiar with, there's a lot of procedures. And this is kind of the process that you're talking about now and going from this bigger picture and getting more zoomed in. And, and there's a lot of things, obviously that we can overlay in terms of procedures, routines, techniques, and so on that will, you know, fit into any of those different situations and scenarios. But what I'd really like to get from you at this point is anything specific to Lattanzi. And I know you said, you know, made us very aware. Comprising 20 countries and it's quite diverse, quite rare. But, uh, and, and, you know, and maybe let's start with more kind of, uh, closer to, you know, central America moving down. Cause that might be the first port of call for a lot of people who are a company, high net, worths business travel and so on. What are the more, you know, be more granular, more specific about this corridor? What are the things that are more unique in terms of threats? You know, cultural sensitivities, things like that.

Joe Gehr:

Yeah. So again, it's a huge area, right? It's a huge region. Each of those places has its own set of, possible, uh, problems, right. Risks, et cetera. So, I mean, in general, I think you should know that, uh, it's important. I mean, planning is critical, which is again, relevant to everything else that we should be doing. But, uh, in Latins specifically because of the, the overall environment and the culture as well, Again, we, in some of these countries, we talk about a high degree of corruption, for example. Right. So that can manifest in a, in a ton of different, problematic ways for someone to act, to protect the principal there. Right. Um, from, you know, from the guide, the hotel, passing out information about who's staying there and about, you know, where, when information that is critical right. And sensitive to, um, anyway, so to, to, you know, Things. So I think my, my, my golden regional, uh, tip would be pretty much have a plan, do your homework and then have a backup plan. Then have a backup plan, have the backup plan. You know, so especially, especially in those places where you have a lot of high corruption and you don't know who you can trust and we cannot trust, um, So, yeah, again, if you can go down there and do some advanced work, that's amazing. That'd be the best, you know, hire a common, have a combination of, of your, of your regular team with, with local, um, parties, better partners that you can work with over there that know the region, know the problems, know the ways around them know the language, know the culture, right? So that's, that's I think very important. And that's again, the place where in my head. You can, um, get to know some of these people that are, that are nationals. Right.

Phelim:

What, what if, what if we went country to country? Because there are some countries that are very small, perhaps people don't often travel to chorus out, or maybe they do. I don't know, but then maybe there's somewhere like Columbia. Um, is, is there something special that people should think about when operating in Columbia for.

Joe Gehr:

Sure if you ask the us secret service, for example, you had a very famous case that we were talking about that not too long ago, with a, with a colleague here where the secret service was pretty much gotten in trouble because of the beauty of the, of the Colombian women. Right? So they were in cards of hand. I don't know if you remember that incident, which was actually to end up being a diplomatic incident. Where, um, you know, instead of doing their job, they, they, they were again, um, killed by the looks of the, of the, of the beautiful Colombian women. And they got in trouble and there was a problem there. And that ended up being, uh, not only, not, not very professional, not professional at all, but also, you know, it was a big impact. And people got fired because of that. So, um, you know, it all depends. It's really, depending on who you're bringing, who's the principal, you know, are you alone? Where are you going? I can tell you, for example, in Mexico today, um, there's a lot of, you know, the same type of problems we had in Columbia and BA. That has because of the, uh, BA um, and Colombian work in that area throughout the years, that kind of like shifted towards Mexico now. So now you have all their problems, like all these express, kidnappings, kidnappings, a lot of, um, unemployed, um, former sicarios that, you know, know the tactics and, uh, and then they go out and start extorting people, kidnapping people. And so knowing that you understand that you're dealing with, uh, you know, pretty sophisticated, potentially a pretty sophisticated adversary. Again, it all depends who you're with, how public that person is. Right. So if you're working with a very low key individual or family, then that's the, probably the safest in some of these places. If you're moving around with a person that is, uh, that is public and people identify him or her or them, then it's of course, much of a child. Chille for example, beautiful place. And the, I was fabulous. Right. We have snow, you have the ocean, not too far away, like the elect to say, uh, but then you have the anarchist groups, for example, over there. And so again, you have to understand the internal conflicts and problems of these places so that you're not caught in the, in the middle of that. Right. And then hopefully have again, local resources. That can help you, um, you know, mitigate those, those incidents and understand, you know, what to do when that happens. Right? One of those local resources, uh, for example, for people flying in from, from the U S a lot of times, um, I've found it a very useful to talk to the, to the U S embassy. CSOC right. The chief security officers, they can give you a short briefing. You can do that over the phone. You can do that in person. If you, if you go there and you create that relationship. Um, and then of course the private sector locally, right? Which again, you can meet a lot of these folks, uh, in Miami. So it's always a good thing to be, you know, visiting Miami, before you go down there to let them in and start planning and start vetting these companies.

Jon:

So, Joe you're, uh, in, in my mind, you're painting a picture of Miami. A bit akin to, uh, that container in most Isley and star wars as a, uh, reference for anybody of that of a certain age. and, you were speaking about the advanced Sophia and obviously, you know, advances always, Well, not always, but can be a luxury is always something we're going to want to do. And especially if we're going into the unknown. Uh, so thinking about using. Miami is our first port of call. What, what's the type of work that we can be doing in Miami, in preparation? What, what can we

Joe Gehr:

do in Miami? So again, even before you leave your, your place of origin, right, go into Google, suck up as much information as you can about, you know, your, your destiny or your, your. Neighborhood even right. Country, city, jail, et cetera. Right. Whereas then when you're in Miami or before you get there, right. Ask, ask the locals. Absolutely. You can definitely call me. I'll be very happy. You know, we've helped, uh, we have a lot of very good, um, great partners in some of these, uh, challenging places, Mexico, Brazil. Chile Argentina and Colombia, of course. Right. So definitely we can, uh, we'll be very happy to hook you up with, uh, with very good people that can help you make all that, you know, much more smoother. And, and again, understanding the local, the local problems and the ways to mitigate them and to prevent them. And

Jon:

in terms of interaction, are there any. takeaways there, anything we should be thinking about on a cultural level, uh, you know, just human interactions.

Joe Gehr:

Yeah. I think in, in, I dare to say in general that that town national is a typically a very warm person. Um, you know, mannerisms like saying good morning. Thank you, please are very important for the cultural. Um, landscape here, right? If you go somewhere and you're rude and you think you're the king of the world, then it's not going to be good for you. Right. If you're humble and you're you speak, you know, in a way that, that you're giving respect to the other person, again, it's basics, but in Latin America, it's certainly something very important. Um, people love, um, from experience, people love foreigners. And so if you spend a little time telling them where you're from, what you're doing, of course, without revealing any type of, uh, you know, upset details, you can actually, um, you know, maybe you start getting a friendly with a few people, maybe even recruiting them as what we call, you know, some of us have, we can talk about that. The, the, you know, w we talk about force multipliers all the time, right? And so the guy in the hotel, the guy in the restaurant, the guy in the airport, That you get to know because you're going there maybe several times or even that first time. Right. If you're super nice and you know, they can actually help you a lot. Right. You can sit down with them, tell them in general, you know, what you're concerned about. And again, there are local. Remember that insecurity. We always talk about, um, knowing what is normal, right? So as the foreigner coming into a place. If you didn't have the luxury, like you were saying of going there, you know, a few days before that, or, you know, even more, you really don't know what is normal. And so if you don't know what the normal is, you're not going to be able to understand the irregularities that easily. Right. But the locals will. And so spending some time with the locals is in my opinion, always very interesting. First of all, generally, right. You learn about the place like that. And then, you know, those may, those same local skin can help you understand your, your, you know, your potential vulnerabilities better, and may even give you a lending hand when something happens. Right?

Jon:

Yeah. And, as native English speakers often, we're not very good on the language front. How would we get. In Latin America working, without knowing much of the language.

Joe Gehr:

That's a great, great point. So typically if you're, you know, if you're working in EPA, you're going with the principal you're, you're typically spent staying in one of the international known and good hotels. Right. Um, and then for sure, you're going to have the consierge, you're going to have the front desk personnel well-versed in English. So definitely again, go talk to them. Find someone that you can. How those conversations with sort of understand your environment better. And then if you're going to be moving around, of course, you know, again, this is all basics, right? So who are you going to be? Remember the movement from point a to point B is always critical in these type of security operations, right? So hopefully you have a, um, a trusted and vetted driver, right? With experience that knows the language that you can communicate with. Um, and again, a lot of these companies that are, that are. Local that I've been doing this type of work for foreign for foreign nationals, have all these types of, uh, of, uh, drivers, you know, their security drivers and have great English, et cetera. And then I would also, like we said, have a backup to the backup, right? So listen to basics, you know, how do I say, you know, whatever top 10 phrases, you want to know how to say, right? Where's the nearest hospital where's that, but again, you should know where the nearest hospital is anyway. Right? Uh, But yeah. So have your, your address have something where you can, I remember one time in China, I was moving around and I in a taxi, good luck with that. Right. So, you know, here's a little business card that you got from the, you know, someone who spoke English and the hotel, and that's how you move around. And if you lose that you're toast, right. How are you going to get back to, to your, to your coordinates? So, yeah, think about those things. Um, and always have. In advance the, the, the problem, the potential problems you may have and have a plan for those problems, including of course, language also for these places it's really important to, and there's a ton of companies that can help you with that from very expensive, to very inexpensive, um, get local, try to get local real-time information of what's happening to your, in your neighborhood, in your city. Right? Cause it's very unlikely that you may have, for example, um, not, you know, this week in Columbia, we had a few, um, you know, bus there there's some issue with the bus company, some of the bus companies, and they just randomly started blocking roads. Right. If you're going from point a to point B and you only know this route, but again, your, your local vetted security drivers should already know that. And, but these are the things that you should be thinking about as well, because these things happen in that in America,

Jon:

I'm in the UK as well. If you've been in the UK for the last couple of weeks, you've probably had quite a lot of preparation with blockades. Exactly outside commodities and so on.

Phelim:

Not, no, I thought of a useful thing for our listeners. So our listeners let's say they're a solo practitioner, right? We have listeners, they're not solo practitioners, but let's say you were, is that like a club in Miami? They should absolutely go to like here, there are some communities, some associations and they, they, they go to. And they, they they're, they're waiting for work. They're networking. Um, I like the most sizely example as John explained, are there lots of, you know, us operators just milling around a particular part of Miami waiting for the call, who has the visa for X country or who has the language skills? Um, or is it very much like a transitory point and no one is milling around waiting for. Yeah

Joe Gehr:

know. So first of all, you do have, you know, several events happening, not only in Miami, but in Florida, in general, you have, you have a pretty important, uh, conference right now going on as we speak, um, GSX, right. And Orlando,

Phelim:

it's like a club like someone's looking for work or they're hanging around, like living in by the beach or are they living by the airport? I always no one actually living in.

Joe Gehr:

No, I don't know if we bought them up. Obviously people live in Miami. You have very, very nice and very good companies there that operate internationally. Um, I'm not going to start naming them cause it's not going to be fair with the ones that I don't name, but you have. And we both know some, you know, some folks that are very well known and they're very professional and you know, you start by dueling, who's there in the space and, and making those phone calls and we'll be happy to. So Joe, what, what are

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the,

Jon:

um, the biggest threats that we should be looking out for? If we're operating? I know there's a, again, it's, it's, it's kind of generic and it's kind of a bit general, but

Joe Gehr:

I would say, I would say in to be very generalist again, I don't like being general. One theme that you have to be very careful with the Latin America is corruption, right? And that means again, that, you know, some, some bad guy can go in and pay a few dollars to someone for information about you and your principal. They can, you know, all sorts of things, right? They can, they can create a lot of trouble with that because of the ability of, of, you know, bribing and giving a few dollars here and there. And some places you can even bribe the, the. And they can have the police giving you a hard time as a distraction to give you an idea. Right? So think corruption is something to keep in mind. Um, it has a flip side as well, and I'm not encouraging anyone to, to do anything that is illegal, but in some of these places, you know, you're you're, you better have. Your your, your ID and your driver's license, and you better have a fuel, you know, dollar bills or twenties or fifties that you can if needed, you know, hand around to someone to let you go and, and, and not create a whole scene. And, and yeah, well,

Jon:

right.

Joe Gehr:

Correct. Exactly. other sound also in, in most of these countries, remember there's poverty in a lot of these countries. So really, really important to understand where it is that you are moving, because you can say, if you take Colombia, for example, if you take Brazil, Or Mexico. Right. Um, you can't say the whole country is very unsafe. That's just not, it's not going to give you anything understand in the city that you're moving, what neighborhoods are red zones, you know, don't even get near that near there when neighborhoods are okay. And, and other sounds with type of, you know, again, what's the modus of me what's happening there. Is it just, you know, I can give you there's there's a ton of examples right now. We have, uh, a few of those delivery companies in some of these Latin American countries that are all over the place and motorcycles, right. They are like a, like a plague and it's great. Cause it's given jobs to a lot of people, but at the same time, it's very distracting. It's, uh, you know, has a whole bunch of challenges. So now it's not that uncommon to see people getting near to your vehicle in a motorcycle. So is it one person? Is it two people then you start getting. See what I'm saying. So it's you then, you know, depending on again, who you're with, where you're going, et cetera, then you may and may make all the sentence. If you can, to get a level three plus a armored car, for example, while you're there. Right. But again, you can just, what is the scenario? W who are you protecting protection from? What, where are you at what's happening there? How do I mitigate that? You know, So in general terms, I think those cover a lot of especially the, the corruption is I think a really, really bad and, and something too, if you're not used to what it can do something to consider before you go. Um, but then again, each of the countries, you have to go in and see what's what's happening. What's the trend in that specific country. So

Jon:

what about you, Joe? Obviously you've been there for quite a long time. Uh, what is it that you enjoy most about this operating environment? What keeps you.

Joe Gehr:

What keeps me in a town more insecurity. Oh yeah.

Jon:

In the region operating in this region in particular. Um, I, I, I mean, obviously you've built a wealth of knowledge and that's not something you just want to trade in, but I get the sense that there's, you know, th there's more passion than, than just that.

Joe Gehr:

Yeah. Well, again, I'm Latin, I'm Colombian originally. Right? So I, I really liked the Latin American culture, the colors, the food. Right. The, um, the music, uh, it's a really nice place to be in. And so it's very, very nice for me to come and work here a lot. So, and then also understanding that mindset of the, or the culture of the, of the Mexican or the Brazilian or the Latin American in general, if there is such a, such a thing, is, is, you know, something that you develop with time, you know, Like it, like if you like wines and you can tell one wine from the other and you know, same thing with people in a certain way, right. If you hit a certain age. Um, and so I enjoy the Latin Americans a lot, um, actually enjoy people, all that. So I can, I'm one of those guys who can gladly stay for five hours in an airport having a coffee and just watching people. Right. Well, maybe not five hours, but maybe 40 minutes. Right. People are interesting. And. And again, once you start understanding each of those geographies, what happens there, you start, you know, seeing the, the pros and the cons of each of these places. And then at the same time, you also enjoy your little sense of where you live. For example, for those living in the U S you know, how lucky we are to live in the U S with certain things and how many luxuries we have and how many things we have that are not needed at all, or, you know, it gives you a lot of food for thought. So. Enriching and always interesting, but I guess you could also say that about travel to Europe or Asia or to any other region for that sake. Right. I just like travel and, uh, and I liked, you know, meeting different people. And so you blend that with a passion for security and for B for keeping people safe. It's it's been a good mix. A good mix for me so far.

Phelim:

Perfect. Well, Joe, this is a fantastic total force, obviously LATAM as a region. It's enormous. Does it actually exist or is it even scratching the surface? I don't know, but it's what my appetite and I hope our listeners too, to, you know, consider working or at least visiting, um, and that Miami LATAM corridor. It is a curious one. I want to explore it more, but I feel I've got to do it on the ground, perhaps at the Fontane Bleu hotel or something like that. But, but, but, but, but, but, uh, it's a pleasure having you and, um, Joe, uh, thanks ever so much for coming on. This is intriguing and I feel it's gonna leave everyone wanting more, um, from John and myself. Thank you very much for being on the circuit magazine. Well, I don't know about you, Sean, but I might turn this interview OPSEC in Latin America, because of course you have to keep, uh, a lot of things on the low, as Joe said, there is corruption to contend with and, you know, you need to really be careful which trusted partners you're using and when and how, but that Miami, Colorado is still valuable. Um, I know it's quite broad. Um, but, but, but what, w what did you think, uh, is there something we can take away? Yeah,

Shaun:

no, I, I did like listening to Jordan and you're right. It was brought. Um, but I think, I think the Chico is, you know, wherever you're going, whether it be Miami or any country, you do have to utilize local partners. And, you know, it takes some research before you, you take these companies on suit, you know, who you're dealing with, what. And vets are you're using, you know, all the, a trusted provider. Do some research, look at who you use, but yeah, local national companies, wherever you're going, you need to utilize. Information and ground truth, ground knowledge from people in that space. For sure,

Phelim:

indeed. And, and, you know, it's, it's really good to have Joe on, I know Joe from initially the OPSB event in Vegas, um, uh, I hope you'll be there as well. Uh, December, but, but, but Joe also is connected to a lot of other friends of the industry. Uh, some of which, in fact, we, we know, uh, and, uh, and then have interviewed, uh, but for OPSEC purposes, let's not mention it. Um, but, uh, but Latin America, I think it must be a place that we are willing to go to in this post down age. Yes. The language will be important, but I just get the feeling that. More opportunities and for the uninitiated, apparently that's my catch phrase, the uninitiated, um, I think positioning yourself in mind. Might be a good way of, you know, being ready for these opportunities. Much. Like some of the networks here in London are good, uh, for capitalizing, uh, on, on, on, on that. But, uh, I must say. We are still at the international security expo here in London at Olympia. It's really a good vibe going on. It's lovely to have everyone still here. Um, I think Sean, you said before, it was actually nicer to go and network than to take a stand. Um, what. So lots of conversations you've been having. Can you bring them to life or are people talking about happy endeavors or are they, you know, what are they saying?

Shaun:

Maybe whose grit, you know, you and all of the different stunts and the new technologies that's available, you know, technology moves on so fast, certainly in the security. There's so much out there to go. If you're there looking, you know, with a security, budget and money to spend, you can, you can certainly spend it, not these events. You know, that you can invest your money on. Maybe you can go next year and you see God brought new technologies come out and it's hard to keep pace. It's like your, your apple devices every year, you get probably 4, 12 30 and the 14. So you have to keep up to speed. If you're head of security for. High net worth individual. You need to go to these events to see what is out there. So when your principal asks you, you can, you can answer the question you have. At what is out there, what's the latest tech, what can you provide and fill up that contact book with these companies and, and join the dots, you know, be the, be the middleman, um, be the provider, you know, the, your principal wants something you should be able to provide us and going to these events can help you.

Phelim:

And what about some of the talks? Because I know our good friend over it was speaking yesterday. Um, I think I didn't quite get there in time because I was, I was on my way to our event, but he was talking convergence. Do you know any more about, uh, IVUS talk?

Shaun:

I love saying that every time he speaks, you cut the bits of the audiences as you know, he's a great, another one of your friends, friends. Um, in front of the magazine, I think he was talking on convergence of cybersecurity on the physical side of security on, you know, it's been spoken about for a lot of years, but I think what I've always trying to see is now's the time to the physical expert, the cyber expert, they should be working together and, you know, lots of people see it, they do it, and then it stops there. If there's a football stadium and there's a physical event. I think what I was trying to say, the cyber guys, they don't find out about us, or if there's a cyber, something happened. Cyber, maybe the physical guys don't find out about it. I think he's talking more in tune that these guys should be working together and maybe someone signed a book and maybe a director of security and sharing both disciplines work together a hundred hundred. I know what it was about. I'm sure we

Phelim:

have upgrade. Absolutely. And we're going to have to invite over on, uh, we, we, we, uh, we can't play that card too often, so I want to make sure that we've got a really nice interview center. Um, so if you're listening, uh, we're going to invite you of course. Um, but, uh, but yes, today was great with Joe and, uh, great to see so many of the BBA members, you know, I think some, uh, who are very active on the app, I had only known them from the app. So, so that was good meeting them in person. Um, we'll have more meetups, we'll have more, uh, virtual events that are topic based. Um, but you're still looking for contributors are more short.

Shaun:

So the bucket seat cost as well. You have something good to talk about, which is relevant to people in our industry, which we would like to hear about or read about. Please get in touch.

Phelim:

Fantastic. Well, keep subscribing, keep. Don't don't just be a, a, an invisible listener. Okay. If for obvious reasons you have to be, but, but please subscribe to the podcast because it means that we know that our community is enlarging and we know what to give to you. So, uh, so, so please do that. Please do keep subscribing and being active in the BBA connect amp and the number of protector amp. Uh, we know that, uh, Elijah is doing some amazing things on that, uh, that app as well, but. Yeah, it's great to be here meeting in person. Uh, I think yesterday was the first time, uh, a lot of us had met up in, in, in, you know, in physically in a while, but it, it didn't feel that weird did it because we've actually spoken so much over these last 18 months, maybe more than when we were actually not in this pandemic.

Shaun:

As you know, we spoke about before, it's been great to see businesses down, test and adjust and change their model during COVID deliver trading through zoom or whatever they've done remotely, but I thought they, you beat that face to face. Um, network and meeting with people dropping a coffee or a beer maybe after an event. Yeah. It gets crazy that the world's all about,

Phelim:

I love it. And maybe next time in Miami as per the topic of today's podcast. EV everyone likes to have an event in Miami. Why not? Um, so answers on a postcard if you're going to host us, or if we have to rent out one of those swanky beach side things, I don't know I'm dreaming, but, but you know what it could be possible. So, uh, let's, let's go. Um, well for Sean myself, thank you very much to joker. And, uh, you know, it is a tricky subject to, to, to cover it just one episode, but I hope it's given you a flavor of who to approach and how to. Miami LATAM corridor a little bit more, uh, going forward. This has been another fantastic, but like even an in person edition of the second magazine podcast, at least a short on myself here today. And we look forward to seeing you in person or online very, very soon.

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