Interview with Eduardo Gutiérrez Bueno

Fernando Javier Padilla Angulo
Logotip Grupo Segur

In this issue, we interview Mr. Eduardo Gutiérrez Bueno, Operations Manager of the Segur Group. The company was founded in 1978 and today it is among the top three private security companies in Spain. We were particularly interested in its work defending Spanish fishing vessels against piracy in Somalian waters since November 2009.

Can briefly you describe Segur Ibérica's work in the fight against piracy in the waters around the Horn of Africa?
Segur Ibérica has security teams on board all the tuna fishing vessels flying the Spanish flag operating in the Indian Ocean, which guarantee the ship's defence against any pirate attack. The service began in November 2009 and has so far been carried out under normal conditions.

Segur Ibérica has developed a procedure manual governing the work of the various protection teams, and its effectiveness so far has been proven as all the incidents to date - a total of fifty-five incidents, in eleven of which gunfire was exchanged - have been resolved.

Taking into account the nature of the delicate work you do there, what is the average profile of the personnel you recruit to garrison the fishing ships?
Segur Ibérica assigns personnel to the ships who meet all the requirements stipulated set out by law. They are security guards with Grade C firearms licenses. However, due to the specific nature of the mission, we recruit personnel who meet the requirements, who have prior military experience, preferably in the various missions that our armed forces have carried out or are carrying out abroad. This is in addition to the psychometric tests we perform and a prior course on maritime security, which takes place at our training centre.

To date, what type of company hires the Segur Ibérica's services?
In the case that concerns us here, shipowners whose craft are fishing in the Indian Ocean.

As a military operation directed by the European Union (Operation Atalanta) is taking place the region, in which Spain is a leading participant, what type of relationship do you have with the Ministry of Defence?
Obviously, we have a close relationship since in many cases we rely on the information they give us.

Finally, and as the Operations Manager of Segur Ibérica, what is your overall assessment of security guards' involvement in the fight against Somali piracy?
We consider our participation to date to be a total success, as we have prevented at least fifteen kidnappings without our staff suffering from any accident.
We know that the fishermen feel protected and the owners feel satisfied.