HomeNewsBriefReports of Migrant Kidnapping in Mexico Up 1000%
BRIEF

Reports of Migrant Kidnapping in Mexico Up 1000%

KIDNAPPING / 31 MAR 2015 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Reports of migrant kidnapping in Mexico have increased dramatically over a single year, a phenomenon that may be linked to increased migration from Central America, rising kidnapping rates in Mexico, or just better reporting. 

There were 682 reported migrant kidnappings in 2014, an increase of 1000 percent from 2013, according to figures from Mexico’s National Institute of Migration (INM), which were obtained by Excelsior via a freedom of information act request. 

Of those kidnapped, 365 were Hondurans, 200 Salvadorans, 100 Guatemalans and 17 Nicaraguans.

The numbers also show an increase in “other crimes” committed against migrants — including extortion and abuse — rising from 43 to 119. 

However, there were just 29 migrants who were victims of human trafficking in 2013, according to the INM’s statistics.

InSight Crime Analysis

Ultimately, the explanation behind this huge increase in reported migrant kidnapping could well be a mix of the reasons described below. 

Firstly, there is the matter of the huge spike in Central American migrants attempting to reach the United States in 2014. This rapid increase in migrants, many of whom were unaccompanied children or families and therefore even more vulnerable to criminal groups, died down almost as quickly as it shot up. If this was a factor, the number of migrant kidnappings can be expected to fall again in 2015.

The increase could also be related to broader changes within Mexico’s underworld. Since President Enrique Peña Nieto took power in late 2012, overall kidnapping has increased by 52 percent, according to official statistics published by Animal Politico. The increase in migrant kidnapping may be part of the same pattern.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Kidnapping

The states most affected by kidnapping — Tamaulipas, Guerrero, and Michoacan — are the same ones that have seen an intense fragmentation of organized crime groups. As these criminal structures look to earn funds from other sources besides transnational drug trafficking, the increasingly independent local factions have turned to other crimes, including kidnapping to make up the shortfall in income.

It is also possible the increase is at least partly a result of better reporting and collating of statistics, especially as the INM has only maintained statistics on migrant kidnapping since 2012. This increased attention towards the problem may yet encourage state institutions to take the crime more seriously — and, crucially, result in more people reporting it.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

JALISCO CARTEL / 9 FEB 2012

The Mexican Army says that six different gangs are currently fighting for control of Jalisco, making the…

MEXICO / 6 JUN 2018

The venerable action hero John Rambo is plotting a return to the silver screen, and he is taking his talent…

JUDICIAL REFORM / 29 APR 2011

More than 70 percent of all federal arrests in Mexico never reach trial, highlighting deficiencies in the justice…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…