HomeNewsBriefSpike in Mexico Kidnappings Indicates President’s Security Failures
BRIEF

Spike in Mexico Kidnappings Indicates President’s Security Failures

KIDNAPPING / 17 JUL 2014 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

An NGO in Mexico reported that kidnappings rose 56 percent in the first half of 2014 compared with the same period last year, illustrating the failure of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s security policies to tackle this crime.

According to Alto al Secuestro (Stop the Kidnapping), 1,766 kidnappings took place between January and June this year, while 1,130 occurred during those months in 2013.

The organization also announced that 4,609 abductions had been reported since December 2012, when the present administration began, although in 517 of these cases no investigation was opened.

Of the kidnappings, 72 percent were concentrated in the Federal District and the states of Mexico (Edomex), Morelos, Guerrero, Tamaulipas, Veracruz and Michoacan, according to the organization.

InSight Crime Analysis

In their press release, Alto al Secuestro does not give the methodology used to arrive at the figure, which is more than double the 839 kidnappings reported by Mexico’s National Public Security System (SNSP) for the period January through May of this year. This is an increase of 23 percent from kidnappings recorded by the SNSP in the first five months of 2013. These official statistics showed an increase in kidnappings of some 20 percent from 2012 to 2013.

The rise in kidnappings is bad news for the president, who from the beginning has made a decrease in violent crime — including kidnapping, homicides and extortion — a key security objective. While homicides have apparently declined, the failure to rein in kidnapping and extortion has been reflected in a steadily declining approval rating for Peña Nieto.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

The trend stands in sharp contrast to a steep overall decline in kidnappings in Colombia since 2002 and a consistent drop since 2012 — the year the Colombian government entered into peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the guerrilla group agreed to stop kidnapping for extortion.

While in Colombia the declining role of illegal armed actors has been a key contributor to reducing the incidence of kidnappings, Mexico’s increases have corresponded with a fragmenting criminal landscape, which has pushed organizations to diversify their revenue by turning to activities like kidnapping.

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

HOMICIDES / 20 APR 2017

Authorities in Honduras say that their fight against organized crime is responsible for the country's plateauing homicide rate, highlighting…

EL CHAPO / 19 DEC 2011

The tiny municipality, or 'municipio,' of Saric, with its 27 miles of desert frontage opposite the Arizona border, is a…

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

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. …