Mario Salomón
Country Manager
GMSI
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View from the Top

State-of-the-Art Security for Mexican Miners

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 17:19

Q: How has Mexico’s insecurity impacted its industries and what could be changed to enhance security within the mining sector?  
A: Insecurity in Mexico has increased in all industries, which has forced us to strengthen our protocols. In addition, there is no evidence that this increase in insecurity can be reversed despite all the efforts that are being made. One example is the appointment of the new National Guard. We are in favor of this strategy because we believe the army is the only institution with the capacity and discipline to combat organized crime in the country. We coordinate with the army for some of our activities in certain sectors, including mining.
We are proposing the creation of a General Private Security Law so that consistent criteria can be applied throughout the country. There is confusion regarding the application of regulations due to the overlap of federal, state and municipal laws. Security in Mexico should be governed by a general law, which would also provide certainty to those involved in the industry.
Q: What are GMSI’s most demanded products and services in the Mexican mining sector?
A: In terms of security, prevention is vital. We believe that security is 80 percent prevention, 15 percent deterrence and 5 percent response. For us, intramural protection of mining facilities is important. We not only protect facilities from external threats but also internal, such as petty theft, which is very relevant in these facilities. We have also increased our security activities in everything related to logistics and transport of materials.
Video surveillance cameras with motion detectors and drones are some of our most popular services. The GPS that we include in logistics services to enhance control of goods and transport units is also in demand. We are innovating in the sector and have developed our own facial recognition software as well. Technology is significant for us. For example, the use of drones is common in our mining-related activities and we have the only private C5 system in the country. We offer products with state-of-the-art technology that differentiates us from the competition.
Q: What is GMSI’s strategy to attract and retain human capital and what are the main challenges it encounters?
A: It is not just about attracting talent but using those human resources well. Due to the characteristics of the industry, we also have to be more demanding. For example, in the mining industry we only hire one of every 20 candidates; in other industries, one in 10 is hired, on average. We are much more careful with our testing procedures, and we also hire people who are not from the area where the activity takes place in order to avoid possible conflicts of interests.
When hiring personnel, we have 22 internal filters, such as socioeconomic studies, criminal record checks, psychological exams and polygraphs. Most of our workforce is armed, so our protocols are scrupulous. We are very clear about the situations in which one of our employees can use a weapon and how to use it.
Q: GMSI has 34 subsidiaries across the country. What advantages does this structure offer to your customers?
A: Our decentralization is a result of geography because we seek national coverage. Many of our clients have facilities in different parts of the country and decentralization allows us to serve them in the best possible way. However, the security protocols and hiring processes are the same throughout the country. Obviously, we have the ability to adapt to the needs of our customers depending on the state or municipality.