Language: EN
Type: Newspaper Story
Publication: The Miami Herald
Location: Section: Business, Edition: Final, Page: 1C
Date: September 26, 2001
Copyright: Copyright (c) 2001 The Miami Herald


The Miami Herald
September 26, 2001
Section: Business
Edition: Final
Page: 1C


Latin American executives have long viewed American cities as safe. But in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, executives now believe Latin American capitals are safer from terrorist threats than either New York or Washington.

According to a survey carried out by eWorldResearch for the October issue of Poder magazine, CEOs in the United States aren't the only ones who fear becoming a victim of terrorist attacks in the United States. Their Latin American colleagues also are worried.
Generally, Latin American and U.S. executives considered U.S. cities safe when compared to Latin American cities, which have been plagued by rising crime that in some countries includes kidnappings.

Now, Latin Americans consider U.S. cities more prone to a terrorist attack than any city in Latin America.

``You would assume that the fear of the attack would mainly speak to the United States, but it doesn't,'' said Iván Casas, chief executive of eWorldResearch, a Miami Beach company. EWorldResearch conducted the survey for Miami-based Zoom Media Group, which publishes Loft and Poder magazines.

The survey, done Sept. 14 and 15, questioned 866 executives in 22 countries, including the United States. The executives were culled from readers and business panels that advise the magazine. This was the first time eWorldResearch surveyed executives on the subject.

A little over half of the Latin American executives said they were ``very'' or ``somewhat'' concerned about becoming a victim of a terrorist attack in the United States. Around 70 percent of U.S. executives said they were concerned.

The Latin American executives ranked New York and Washington ahead of Bogota as possible targets for future terrorist attacks.

``Clearly the scale of the Sept. 11 attacks is changing perceptions of danger all over the world,'' said Isaac Lee, editor in chief of Poder, a Latin American business magazine.

A handful of executives interviewed by The Herald said they were not personally afraid, although they now know terrorists attacks in the United States are possible.

``I travel a lot and I am not afraid,'' said Jorge A. Ochoa, manager at Edatel, a public-private telecommunications company in Medellín, Colombia.

Ochoa said Colombian executives receive security training. ``We tend to relax when we travel outside of Colombia,'' he said.

Most Latin American executives and their American counterparts said they see repercussions in economies, trade and crossing borders.

Around half of Latin American and U.S. executives believe the attacks will have a ``very negative'' effect on the country they live in.

Latin American executives almost universally agreed - 98 percent - that the Sept. 11 events will trigger tighter rules on immigration.

But the U.S. and Latin American executives didn't agree on everything.

They had contrasting views on whether the U.S. should initiate military action as a result of the attacks: 93 percent of U.S. executives supported military action, compared to 58 percent of Latin American executives.

Carlos N. Salinas Santano, manager of the Mexican Exporters and Importers Association, said that he expected a significant drop, up to 30 percent, in Mexican exports to the United States because of the U.S. economic slowdown and tighter controls at the border.

``Our perception is that since we are the closest commercial partner of the United States, obviously we are going to be very seriously affected,'' Salinas said.

Copyright (c) 2001 The Miami Herald