Q: What do you think are some of the remaining challenges?
NF: There are numerous challenges facing the global emergence of Brazil. For example, there are considerable pressures to deliver an extraordinary number of committed critical infrastructure projects (including urban renewal, schools, health facilities, airport enhancements, surface transport—road and rail—improvements, and more international hotels).
There is also a critical need to continue the program to bring social services, including community policing, to disadvantaged sections of the population (reaching into all major “favelas”). The federal government of Brazil, through SENASP (the Secretariat of National Security in the Ministry of Justice), is administering a multi-billion dollar plus program to raise national policing standards and is investing in public service skills and capability building across the country.
José Mariano Beltrame is one of the leading 'architects' of the new Brazilian security paradigm that impressed the IOC sufficiently for its members to award the Olympic Games to Brazil. He is Secretary of State for Security in Rio de Janeiro and will be a keynote speaker at the CSO Roundtable Latin America Summit in December.
Q: Were there lessons learned from the recent World Cup that will be meaningful to Brazil?
NF: Numerous Brazilian observers attended the FIFA World Cup in South Africa to learn from that experience. Specialists in a number of fields and disciplines are still reporting back to their organizations and ministries in Brazil. Certainly there was considerable attention focused on the stadia and infrastructure projects, including rail links, that were completed—and indeed on a few that were not finished for the World Cup.
The South African World Cup was a great success on most of the key performance indicators but there are always improvements that can be made to a previous event by close study and careful planning. The Brazilians are leaving no stone unturned to ensure FIFA 2014 and the 2016 Olympics will be international best-practice major events.
Q: What will you discuss at the conference that will be particularly compelling to senior executives?
NF: In 2002 our company, Intelligent Risks, was approached to assist with the development of security planning for the 2007 Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro. The vision of Carlos Nuzman, president of the Brazil Olympic Committee, was to deliver a safe, secure, and successful Pan-Am Games as a launching-pad for Brazil to be awarded hosting rights for the first Olympic Games in South America.
Despite the skeptics, Nuzman and Brazil delivered a great Pan-Am Games and it’s now a matter of history that Brazil was awarded the Olympics last year in a landslide IOC electoral victory. The last eight years have been a remarkable journey for Intelligent Risks, working with all levels of Brazilian government (federal, state, and municipal), organizations like the Olympic Committee and various corporations, police services, and agencies. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with great, enthusiastic, and talented Brazilians but we have also suffered occasional frustrations and setbacks on our fascinating journey.
As keynote speaker at the Roundtable event in Rio, I intend to share some of the key lessons we've gained from our experiences as a foreign security company operating in Brazil—both the good and the bad. It has nearly always been a positive experience but there are traps and pitfalls for the unwary or for corporations who surge underprepared into any new venture.
Q: What do you think is the value of attending this event for security and business executives?
NF: This CSO Roundtable security summit will comprise a wonderful mix of Brazilian and international commentators that are guaranteed to provide CSOs with a particularly keen appreciation of the risks and rewards associated with conducting business in Brazil. The potential rewards most definitely far outweigh any risks. However, if companies move forward in Brazil, like anywhere else, without a full appreciation of the local environment—including security threats—then those risks can increase dramatically.
This summit will enable CSOs that already have corporate responsibilities in Brazil to reflect on and benchmark their safety and security operations. And for new CSO entrants into this exciting global market, this summit should prove an invaluable "master-class" on what works best and why, in terms of most effectively managing your security risks.
Peter Piazza is strategic operations director at ASIS International and a former associate editor of Security Management magazine.