MEXICO CITY – An average of 49 kidnappings per day occurred in Mexico in 2011, marking a significant increase from the prior year, the Council for Law and Human Rights, or CLDH, said.
A total of 17,889 kidnappings occurred in Mexico last year, up 32 percent from the 13,505 abductions registered in 2010, the non-governmental organization said.
“It is important to note that official complaints to the authorities have remained at a rate of one for every 10 cases,” said CLDH president Fernando Ruiz in an e-mail.
The figures do not included “express kidnappings,” in which a victim is held for only a few hours, the CLDH said.
Hundreds of express kidnappings occur in Mexico City daily, with taxi drivers usually assisting the criminals, the NGO said.
Kidnapping gangs are increasingly using technology to target victims, and some criminals have negotiated the payment of ransom with victims’ relatives outside the country, the CLDH said.
“That is, some gangs of kidnappers have influence at the international level, making it impossible to obtain a partial identification of their members and capture them,” the NGO said.
The number of kidnapping cases in which police and soldiers were involved rose from 70 percent in the first half of 2011 to 80 percent in the second half of the year, the CLDH said.
“Their level of participation ranges from leaking information about a victim’s profile to providing protection during the actual kidnapping and directly carrying out the kidnapping,” Ruiz said.
About one-third of the kidnappers arrested by the Federal Police, according to official figures, have links to drug cartels.
The CLDH, which was founded in 1991, provides assistance to kidnapping and extortion victims, and works to root out corruption in the ranks of the police.