In this edition of the Global Kidnap Bulletin, we consider the threats and challenges that companies may face when evacuating personnel from a foreign country during a crisis. We also consider the implications of gang boss El Koki’s death for Venezuela’s security situation, and examine increasing threats to aid workers and foreign nationals in Haiti and Cameroon.
evacuation from high-risk jurisdictions: Challenges and Best Practices
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year highlighted the importance of having robust and well thought out evacuation plans in place. But even prepared companies can face challenges if they lack flexibility, clear decision-making structures, or resources. We consider how companies can avoid these pitfalls and best plan for political evacuations.
The Hydra of Megabandas: Organised Crime in Venezuela
President Nicolás Maduro has lauded recent success in killing prominent crime boss, El Koki, as a major security victory. However, the reality on the ground - where corruption creates a culture of impunity and poverty drives gang recruitment - speaks to a deepening of Venezuela’s security crisis. With the government’s policy of ‘peace zones’ and a general lack of political will to address organised crime, powerful criminal groups continue to proliferate and grow stronger.
SECURITY VACUUM: ORGANISED CRIME AND KIDNAPPING PROLIFERATES AMID INSTABILITY IN HAITI
In the aftermath of the UN mission’s withdrawal in 2019 and former President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination in 2021, Haiti continues its decline into widespread political, economic and social instability. Powerful cartels like 400 Mowozo and the G9 have kidnapped groups of foreigners and blockaded Haiti’s main fuel port with growing impunity. As political infighting and deeply embedded corruption enables gangs to tighten their grip, foreign nationals and aid workers must work in an increasingly hostile operating environment.
Crisis Complex: The growing kidnapping concern in Cameroon’s Far North
In northern Cameroon, aid workers face increasing threats of kidnapping from militant groups reluctant to buy in to the government’s promises of amnesty and reintegration. With aid groups increasing operations along the border with Nigeria in response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis, such threats are on the rise.