Private security firms are Colombia’s newest growth industry. The security industry earned more than the traditional sectors of banana and flower cultivation in 2008, according to a financial study released by the Superintendent of Surveillance and Private Security.
Superintendent Juan Carlos Portilla said that the security industry turned over 3.8 billion pesos (almost US$2 million) in 2008, more than double that of the hotel industry which earned 1.8 billion pesos (US$850,000).
Armed security made up 75 per cent of the market, transportation of valuable goods 9 per cent, unarmed security 6 per cent and armored products such as cars with 3 per cent, according to the study.
While the Colombian economy only grew by 2.5 per cent in 2008, the security sector grew 22 per cent and made up 0.8 per cent of the GDP, the study found.
The study predicts that Colombia security businesses will make up 15 per cent of the Latin American security market in 2010.