RM Branch (now MS), December 2007, Panama
A few months earlier, the Caribbean zone merged with the Latin American area (AMLAT). We became Latin America & Caribbean (ALC) zone. Many projects were in progress: headquarters in Panama, consolidation of reporting / budgets, integration of teams ...
Our environment was the following: 17 subsidiaries, 4 used languages including Portuguese; multi activity perimeter (Lub, gas, depot, Aviation, Network, refinery); a context subject to natural risks(hurricanes, earthquakes) and social risks (kidnapping, strikes, etc.).
As a result, the Operational Director of the area organized a security training during 5 days in Panama. Supervised by one of the Group's Safety Coordinators, with the support of a consulting company, Managing Directors worked to develop their reactivity in case of kidnapping.
Different tools were used: videos, workshops, powerpoint, field trip! It is in a studious and relaxed atmosphere that we assimilate all information until our second evening during which we were victim of a kidnapping!
Indeed our bus was attacked and the kidnappers “threw” us into vans. Music, hard song in german, was played very loud and by this way, there was no possibility to communicate with each other. Moreover, we were blindfolded ... impossible to know who our attackers were and where they were taking us! Arrived at an unknown place in the forest, we were divided into small groups and we were constantly moved! The kidnappers questioned us relentlessly: "Who is the chief? "," What is your profession? "... all in Spanish!
Some have managed to escape ....
Fortunately, all this was only an exercise! A debriefing was done and we felt both physical and emotional difficulties associated with this kind of event !