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Mexico City Airport: Armed Agents in Unarmored Vehicles

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On October 15, 2021, two men on a motorcycle shot at a luxury but unarmored van during the Mexico City Airport attack. Eduardo Beaven — the owner of a prominent restaurant chain — was traveling as a passenger in the vehicle. Alongside him was his protection agent, who stood injured and was taken to a hospital in the Mexico City Observatory area. So, let’s explore more about armed agents in unarmored vehicles.

The abovementioned van received several impacts from bullets. Additionally, the assailant’s motorcycle underwent severe damage after being dragged several meters on the asphalt.

Using the vehicle as a defensive weapon, a skilled driver ran over and dragged the aggressors through the roundabout of Terminal 2 of the Mexico City International Airport. One of the criminals lost his life minutes after being admitted to the hospital for injuries he sustained.

The press reports also indicate that a firearm from the attacked vehicle repelled the aggression.

From this unfortunate situation, we can draw two important conclusions:

  1. The vehicle is the best weapon that a properly trained security driver can have.
  2. To reduce the risks of carjacking or any kind of attack during transportation, the armored vehicle is an essential tool that cannot be replaced by a firearm which — in an unarmored car — elevates the risks instead of reducing them.

Combating Erroneous Concepts

Having armed agents in an unarmored vehicle causes more problems than solutions, as we have seen in other cases, such are the 2021

  • attacks against the protective agent of Sergio “Checo” Pérez,
  • shootings in the exclusive Mexico City area of Santa Fe, and
  • the described Mexico City airport attack.

In these incidents, three protective agents were severely wounded together with one protectee. Yet, that is not all.

In March 2022, a prominent Mexican businesswoman was killed in a shootout. During the incident, her protection agents opened fire from her unarmored SUV at the checkpoint with armed personnel they considered unauthorized.

So only in Mexico — in just one year — we had four protective agents wounded, one protectee wounded, and one protectee murdered. All this happened due to the erroneous concept of having armed agents in unarmored vehicles.

Final Thoughts on Armed Agents in Unarmored Vehicles

Our fundamental task is to reduce the risks. As with the Mexico City Airport attack, so too with other similar incidents.

But suppose we base our operation on the use of firearms. That means that we consider a gunfight as a means to reduce the risks. But gunfight, by definition, implies elevation of the dangers. Hence, we cannot reduce the risks by elevating them. That is obviously nonsense. But, as we can see, the nonsense frequently applied in executive protection took many people’s lives.

Executive protection is a process of planning and logistics that aims to reduce the user’s exposure to risk — not to expose a client to shootings. The latter are frequently unnecessary as they put the principal’s life at stake. Each tool in executive protection has its reason for implementation within the particular operating system. Thus, we cannot use one tool to replace the other.

Many groups and organizations want to save money by trying to replace armored vehicles with armed agents — that is proven to be a fatal mistake. Only the right combination of different tools for each operation can reduce the risks to an optimal degree.

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