HomeNewsBriefBolivia Narco-Kidnapping Could Mark Growing Trend
BRIEF

Bolivia Narco-Kidnapping Could Mark Growing Trend

BOLIVIA / 8 NOV 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Police in Bolivia have rescued a 13-year old child kidnapped over a drug debt, drawing attention to a crime that is likely to increase as transnational organized crime spreads and takes root in that country.

On November 2, four men dressed as police officers took the teenager from his house in the city of Cochabamba, reported Jornada.

At first, the kidnappers demanded $30,000 from the boy's family, but within hours they had raised the ransom demanding an extra $25,000, reported La Razon

After the family contacted the police the next day, officers arrested three men and accused them of taking the boy, who was rescued from a nearby house, where he was found blindfolded and with his hands and feet shackled.

According to police, one of the suspects said the child was the son of a drug trafficker and the money was to settle a debt he owed the kidnappers' employers.

InSight Crime Analysis

It is common practice in the underworld to hold family members of drug traffickers hostage to settle disputes over payment. This is not the first such case in Bolivia, and with transnational organized crime groups seeking to increase their influence in the country, it is likely to become a more common occurrence.

However, it is not the only type of kidnapping witnessed in Bolivia linked to criminal migration. In recent months, police dismantled a kidnapping ring that included eight Bolivians and six Colombians, which operated in Santa Cruz.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Kidnapping

Colombian criminal groups are known to be particularly prevalent in the Bolivian underworld, and it is not surprising some would choose to utilize skills honed in Colombia in new, and less prepared territories. Colombian kidnapping rings already operate abroad; Venezuela is a particularly favored destination.

While there have yet to be sufficient cases to identify this as part of a broader trend, kidnappings are evidently a rising concern for the authorities. Earlier in the week, the police launched a new specialist anti-kidnapping and extortion squad, which will operate out of the country's drug trafficking heartland -- Santa Cruz.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BOLIVIA / 13 OCT 2020

Authorities claim that rising cocaine seizures along the Bolivia-Brazil border have come as a direct result of stepped-up enforcement, but…

HUMAN RIGHTS / 17 JAN 2022

Reported kidnappings have decreased significantly in Mexico, but in recent years, at least one out of every 10 kidnapping victims…

BOLIVIA / 10 FEB 2022

The gunning down of two Brazilian traffickers in a Bolivian border department is the latest example of spillover violence wrought…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…