Rivas: not optimistic that the kidnapping situation will improve. Rivas: not optimistic that the kidnapping situation will improve.

Kidnapping numbers are set to break record

Citizens' group doesn't see the situation improving without a change in strategy

Kidnappings will break a record if they continue at their current pace, which a citizens’ group warns is unlikely to change.

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The number of kidnappings recorded during the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto is on the brink of exceeding a previous high set during the entire six-year term of his predecessor, Felipe Calderón, according to statistics from the National Public Security System (SNSP).

In the four years and 10 months since Peña Nieto took office, there have been 6,235 kidnappings, just 347 fewer than the number recorded between 2006 and 2012 when Mexico was governed by a Calderón-led National Action Party (PAN) administration.

With one year of the current administration still to go and kidnapping rates on the rise, it is likely to be just a matter of months until the record is broken. After the same period in Calderón’s presidency, there had been 4,955 reported cases of kidnapping, 1,280 fewer than the number recorded so far.

The director of the National Citizens’ Observatory — an independent organization that monitors security conditions — believes that the high prevalence of the crime is likely to continue in the short term despite efforts by state-based anti-kidnapping units to reverse the trend.

“I think that we are going to continue having a serious problem in this area in the remainder of this six-year term because we haven’t seen a change in the security strategy that would lead us to believe we are going to have greater control over the issue,” Francisco Rivas said.

The worst year of the last five was 2013, the first full year of Peña Nieto’s presidency, Rivas said, but he warned that if the current trend continues unabated there is a danger of returning to those levels.

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Part of the problem is that authorities are not attacking the financial structures of kidnapping rings, he said, which allows them to continue operating even if one of their members is arrested.

In response to the alarming figures recorded in 2013, Peña Nieto created the National Anti-Kidnapping Coordinator (Conase), an agency that deployed specialized units in 10 states to combat the crime. For two consecutive years kidnapping numbers dropped but the rate rose again in 2016, when 1,131 cases were recorded.

For the entire period of Peña Nieto’s presidency, Tamaulipas has recorded the highest number of kidnappings with 965 followed by the state of México (928), Veracruz (628), Guerrero (524), Tabasco (432), Morelos (372), Michoacán (358) and Mexico City (259), according to SNSP statistics.

But as is often the case, the government’s numbers have been questioned.

The organization Alto al Secuestro (Stop the Kidnappings) disagrees with the official figures, placing the number since 2013 at a much higher 10,242, or the equivalent of six new kidnapping cases per day.

Organization president Miranda de Wallace says that state governments have failed to combat the crime due to a lack of investment to train members of the anti-kidnapping units.

“If we continue with this trend, we’ll be finishing 2018 with maybe 12,000 kidnappings,” she said, adding that the federal government needs to place greater emphasis on combating the crime in the states where the incidence is highest.

“If we place emphasis on these states, this crime would reduce by practically 20% because almost 80% [of the cases] occur . . .  [there],” she claimed.

The federal government spent almost 2.3 billion pesos (US $122 million) this year to combat the crime, according to Conase, with the states of Puebla, México, Tlaxcala, Hidalgo, Querétaro and Mexico City the biggest beneficiaries.

The current year is likely to go down as Mexico’s most violent on record with homicide rates also at record highs. Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong said last week that reforming an outdated security system is essential to address rising crune levels.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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  • Mason

    These are only reported kidnappings. It is estimated that 2/3s of kidnappings in Mexico never get reported out of fear and police involvement in the crime.

    • Jeff Swanson

      you are exactly spot on, kidnappings in Mexico DON’T get reported, where you are off is it is 99.7% of kidnappings go unreported! AND the government of Mexico would lie and or not release the true stats anyway, as with everything!

      As you state the people fear the police are involved, which they are.
      In one Mexican tourist city there are dozens, if not hundreds of express kidnapping’s per week. (Only Nationals)

      It used to effect foreigners and tourists too, but in a deal with the devil, the Government decided it was putting to much bad press on Mexico’s Tourism, agreed to lay off non-nationals.

      How it works is, usually but not always a child is kidnapped usually going to or from school, we are talking 8 -9 years old,
      Immediately the parent(s) are called on their cell phones (how do the kidnappers know the number/) It IS always the same, the kidnappers demand $5,000 USD, they are offered and settle for 500 USD, the family calls all the extended family and pulls together the money, the whole thing is over in only 1 to 1.5 hours max!
      This is primarily targeting “poor” families.
      The family when they are called is taunted with, they have the info and history on the entire family, mention where every tia, every grandparent etc lives, works, their phone numbers, what they drive etc. WHO has all this information? NO ONE, no one except the government!
      I knew, know 4 families in my small sphere of knowledge this happed to, all kids and one family a grandparent was kidnapped. They told me it go’s on hourly round the clock here and all are in fear, BUT the police and government are involved so WHO do you go to?
      Knew a family VERY recently, had their 11 yo daughter kidnapped, she was held for weeks in a notorious colonia on the outskirts of this city, repeatedly gang raped, and not allowed to shower, they wanted 30,000 usd, because they knew the family were wealthy business owners, AND they said they could get that for her for a “sex slave” , the family paid up, the girl was released, bleeding badly and bloody from the repeated rapes.
      What I find funny and ironic, she now resides in the USA in Donald Trumps prejudiced hell, attending school there, on my dime, another “Illegal”
      and vowing NEVER to return to Mexico, WOW folks THAT says it all!

  • Hailey Mannering

    There was an article here some months back about the disappearance of Jenny Chen. There is a Facebook group on this:”Help Find Jenny”. Jenny`s husband says his information leads him to believe the disappearance was not voluntary. He is bitter about the lack of co-operation from Modelo and the government. Jenny was last seen in a Modelo truck.

  • Boo Booo

    Death Penalty IS long overdue for BOTH U.S. and ESPECIALLY Mexico 4users & sellers.
    U.S. AND MEX NEEDS TO PREVENT ALL PLANES W/DRUGS FROM FLYING INTO U.S. FROM PERU & COLOMBIA THRU MEX.
    AS LONG U.S. IS BUYING & CONSUMING DRUGS, AND ALLOWING DRUGS TO ENTER U.S. VIA AIR & PACIFIC OCEAN, this IS not stopping OR being control.
    AGAIN, DEATH PENALTY IS THE SOLUTION IN MEXICO AND 4CONSUMERS IN USA…
    DRUGS ARE NOT GETTING IN THRU BORDER, BUT ON PLANES AND VIA PACÍFIC OCEAN INTO U.S.

  • Sharon

    Anyone wonder why tourists are afraid to come to Mexico? Ever wonder why many countries warn their citizens not to go to Mexico? You are killing the tourist business with all these crimes.

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