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.

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

FENTANYL / 18 APR 2022

Mexican authorities have intercepted a succession of flights carrying synthetic drugs to the northern state of Sonora, raising questions over…

COLOMBIA / 27 OCT 2020

The killing of ELN commander Uriel -- a well-known figure often seen in propaganda videos and press reports -- is…

ELITES AND CRIME / 11 FEB 2021

Mexico's tax authority has dismissed Ramón García Gibson, one of its highest-ranking officials, for “evident conflicts of interest” and his…

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…