HomeNewsBriefEcuadorean Presidential Candidate Falls Victim to Express Kidnapping
BRIEF

Ecuadorean Presidential Candidate Falls Victim to Express Kidnapping

ECUADOR / 4 FEB 2013 BY MIRIAM WELLS EN

A presidential candidate in Ecuador has fallen victim to an express kidnapping, a crime becoming increasingly common across Latin America.

Late at night on February 1, two people jumped into a Quito taxi carrying Mauricio Rodas, the leader of Movimiento Suma (Suma Movement) political party, threw tear gas in his face and took his valuables, reported the Ecuadorean news agency Telam.

The kidnapping lasted about an hour, according to a statement by Rodas' party, during which the politician was driven to various ATMs and forced to withdraw cash.

After being thrown out of the vehicle on a public highway in south Quito, Rodas was taken to hospital by a pedestrian. The presidential candidate later said the incident was not a political act but an "example of the terrible insecurity suffered by millions of Ecuadorean citizens."

InSight Crime Analysis

Express kidnapping, where victims are held for just a few hours and typically ordered to empty their bank accounts, is Ecuador's third most common crime, after robbery and assault. It has become a particular problem in Guayaquil, the country's second-largest city, with an average of 11 express kidnappings a week during 2012, according to online newspaper Hoy.com. The city's Citizen Security Observatory has calculated that around $185,000 was stolen during express kidnappings between January and September 2012, an average of $483.50 per incident.

In Quito, express kidnappings increased by more than 60 per cent during 2012, according to a report released earlier this month by global security company Red24. However, this statistic is somewhat misleading as the numbers in the capital are still very low, with only 17 express kidnappings reported between January and August last year, according to the state news agency Andes.

Red24's report claimed express kidnapping is on the rise across Latin America, with the crime becoming more common in Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela and Brazil throughout 2012. Mexico was also a "hotspot," with an estimated 3,000 express kidnappings during the first three quarters of the year. The perpetrators are organized crime groups, the report claimed, with victims typically locals of varying income levels, though tourists are also targeted. It attributed the rise to "economic uncertainty and financial desperation."

Other public figures to have fallen victim to express kidnappings in Latin America have included the Mexican ambassador to Venezuela.

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

COCAINE / 19 JAN 2018

Major cocaine seizures in Spain, Portugal and Ecuador illustrate the European cocaine pipeline that has become a central part of…

ECUADOR / 16 JUL 2019

Thousands of police and military have swept through the north Ecuador district of Buenos Aires in an attempt to control…

ECUADOR / 3 SEP 2013

Authorities in Ecuador are investigating whether two partially dismantled networks of loan sharks -- one with Colombian members -- are…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.