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Mercopress, Uruguay, March 11, 2008

 Chile, Uruguay, safest countries in South AmericaCosta Rica, Chile and Uruguay are the safest countries in Latin America, while Haiti remains the most dangerous country when it comes to security for business executives and multinationals, according to the latest Latin Security Index developed by FTI Consulting Ibero America for Latin Business Chronicle.
Meanwhile, Ecuador’s spat with Colombia the past ten days over Colombia’s March 1 incursion across its border and accusations that Ecuador has been permitting FARC to have a safe haven, is creating a trend towards higher danger levels in Ecuador.

“The recent spat with Colombia over incursions across its border have ratcheted up tensions in that area, as well as the accusation that Ecuador has been permitting FARC to have a safe haven in the country,” says Frank Holder, FTI senior managing director for forensic and litigation consulting and a leading expert on security issues in Latin America.

On the other hand, political tensions and civil unrest in general have seemed to ease a bit recently, he points out.

Also Venezuela is seeing a trend towards higher danger, according to the Latin Security Index. But neighboring Colombia still remains more dangerous than Venezuela although it has the same danger level score.

“Despite President Uribe’s efforts against the FARC showing demonstrable progress in terms of dramatically lowering kidnapping rates, the death of a high level FARC commander in Ecuador has led to geopolitical instability, and most likely presages a return of FARC attacks within Colombia, utilizing Venezuela and Ecuador as possible safe havens” Holder predicts.

“The FARC may also be receiving logistical, monetary and weapons support from Venezuela”.

The Latin Security Index measures the danger level in Latin America based on homicide rates as well as other factors affecting corporate security and the safety of foreign business executives.

FTI Consulting bases its ratings on official numbers from public security secretariats, local police, governments, NGO and institutes of crime investigations.

Each country receives rating from 1 to 5 with 1 representing a non-dangerous country and 5 representing a very dangerous country.
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