Monday, December 4, 2017
Mexico's Record High Kidnappings Fueled by Fractured Cartels
By Ronna Rísquez
Official statistics in Mexico suggest that kidnapping cases will reach a record high this year, a consequence of the
atomization of the country’s main organized crime groups.
According to statistics from the National Public Security System (Sistema
Nacional de Seguridad Pública), more than 6,000 kidnappings were recorded during the first four years and ten months of the Enrique Peña Nieto administration. This represents
1,280 more kidnappings than those registered during an equivalent period of time during the Felipe Calderón administration.
In addition to kidnappings,
there has also been an alarming rise in the number of homicides. In October, there were a record 2,371 homicides, making it the most violent month in the last
Rivas, the director of the National Citizens Observatory (Observatorio Nacional Ciudadano), predicted that both crimes will
reach record highs by the end of Peña Nieto’s six years in office [November 30, 2018].
“I think we will continue
to face serious problems with these issues for the remainder of these six years because we have not seen changes to the security
strategy that make us think there will be greater territorial control,” Rivas told El Universal.
Mexico tried to reduce kidnappings by creating the National Anti-Kidnapping Unit (Coordinación Nacional Antisecuestros
– CONASE) in 2014, where it allocated more than two billion pesos this year. But these measures have done little to
reduce the crime.
See also: Mexico News and Profiles
there have been several serious blows to organized crime groups in recent years — the arrest of Joaquín “El
Chapo” Guzmán, the decimation of the Knights Templar, and the breakdown of major cartels like Sinaloa, the Zetas
and the Familia Michoacana — these are pyrrhic victories.
The fracturing of these groups has pushed many former members to shift
toward committing more local crimes, such as kidnapping, homicides, extortion, micro-trafficking and robberies. While these
groups may not have the international ties needed to engage in drug trafficking, they do have the guns and experience to carry
out many other criminal activities.
This commentary was first published in InSight Crime and reposted per a Creative Commons authorization. InSight Crime's objective is to increase
the level of research, analysis and investigation on organized crime in Latin America and the Caribbean.