The Mexican Institute of Transport (MIT) organized a conference “Security and Protection of Critical Infrastructure” in Quéretaro on 8 June 2017. I had a pleasure to visit Mexico and join the event as a guest speaker. The invitation-only conference assembled leading Mexican road transport security experts and a handful of international specialists to discuss and share views on security trends, threats, and solutions.
The conference agenda was packed with quality speakers. Mr. Saverio Palchetti, the President of the “Infrastructure Security” task force of the World Road Association (PIARC), framed the road security challenge in his welcome speech. He reminded the audience of the constantly changing security risks and recommended a shift from reactive to proactive mindset in road transport security. The General Director of the Mexican Institute of Transport, Mr. Roberto Aguerrebere, highlighted the importance of international and industry-government cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism in the road transport sector. The keynote speaker, Mr. Oscar Callejo, the Undersecretary of Infrastructure at the Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT) and the President of the Strategic Planning Commission of the World Road Association (PIARC), delivered a strong message that security should never be forgotten when transport and logistics systems are designed. Other conference highlights included presentations by the Mexican Federal Police, Freight Watch International, and researcher Luz Angélica Gradilla.
My two presentations focused on ROADSEC and CORE, two major CBRA projects that are approaching the end. The ROADSEC presentation introduced the conference participants to the project and explained its implications to road transport security in Europe and elsewhere. The presentation raised great interest in the audience, and several experts pointed out synergies between the European and Mexican efforts on road transport security, especially considering cargo thefts and hijacks. There seems to be both strong interest and promising opportunities to strengthen trans-Atlantic cooperation on road transport security!
My second presentation focused on FP7-project CORE. After a brief overview on the critical infrastructure protection in the European Union, I presented some findings of the CORE demonstrator with ENI, an Italian multinational oil and gas company. The conference audience expressed wide interest in the use of modern satellite tracking solutions for securing dangerous chemical deliveries. I concluded the CORE presentation by sharing some good security practices of chemical logistics that CBRA colleagues and myself have learned during CORE and other projects. All conference participants received also CORE brochures in Spanish for further information.
The Mexican trip was a success. I would like to express my gratitude to the organizers at the Mexican Institute of Transport (MIT) and my host Eduardo for this great experience. Hopefully we see again soon, for example in the context of global road transport security research projects!
CBRA Blog on 28.6.2017 by Dr. Toni Mannisto