Colombian Government Admits Kidnapping Increasing

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 19 November 2010

Kidnappings in Colombia have risen by 22% so far this year compared to last year according to a new report released by Colombia’s Ministry of Defence. It is the first time that the authorities have publicly admitted an increase despite human rights groups having highlighted the increasing frequency of abductions on several occasions.

The new statistics show that March and August 2010 were the most dangerous months so far this year with an average of one person being kidnapped each day, whilst the total number of cases registered to the end of October was 220 – an increase from 180 cases in the same period last year.

Whilst the vast majority of victims are Colombian citizens, according to the new report the number of foreigners being abducted has also increased. Already this year a US citizen, a Japanese citizen and a Swiss citizen have all been taken, whilst the most common profession among victims is given as businessman.

Some sources dispute the Government’s findings and argue that the true number of people being abducted is far higher that the authorities admit. Earlier this month the ELN insurgency kidnapped family members of two politicians in Arauca province – the region that the new report says has more kidnappings that any other.

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