HomeNewsBriefColombia Sees Rise in Kidnappings
BRIEF

Colombia Sees Rise in Kidnappings

COLOMBIA / 19 JUL 2012 BY TRACEY KNOTT EN

Kidnappings are on the rise in Colombia, with common criminals surpassing guerrilla groups as the worst offenders.

Kidnappings in Colombia increased during the first quarter of 2012, according to a report released on July 12 by Fundacion Pais Libre, a non-governmental organization (NGO) which specializes in monitoring kidnappings in Colombia.

According to the NGO’s report, the number of kidnappings nationwide rose by eight victims during the first four months of 2012 compared to the same period in the previous year, rising from 73 in 2011 to 81 in 2012.

In Bogota, the increase was more dramatic, going from six kidnapping victims in the first 2011 trimester to 17 so far this year.

InSight Crime Analysis

Clara Rojas, director of the organization and former victim of a Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) kidnapping, said there was no increase in the number of kidnappings by armed groups. This may largely be due to the FARC’s February 2012 promise to stop kidnapping civilians. While the renunciation of this proctice did not prevent the guerrillas from taking a French journalist as a so-called prisoner of war in April, overall the FARC has substantially decreased its kidnappings this year, going from 19 in the first quarter of 2011 to three in 2012. On the other hand, another rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), has stayed consistent at seven kidnappings in both years.

Fundacion Libre claims that common criminals made up the difference in kidnappings, accounting for seven out of eight cases, overall committing 71 of the 81 kidnappings. While the FARC may have largely moved away from kidnapping for profit due because it has more profitable means to fianance itself, such as drug trafficking and gold mining, regular criminals with no overhead a fewer ambitions find the average ransom of $5,000 an enticing incentive.

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

COLOMBIA / 13 SEP 2022

President Petro's Total Peace Plan offers high reward but carries equally high risk for criminal groups and for all of…

COLOMBIA / 3 MAR 2021

Colombia is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries, home to some 1,800 species of birds, 600 species of amphibians,…

CARIBBEAN / 31 AUG 2021

More than two weeks after an earthquake devastated Haiti and killed at least 2,200 people, criminal gangs are still shaking…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…