Colombia has long been known for its kidnapping records. These particularly surged at the end of the last century when guerrilla groups FARC and ELN gained control over large parts of the country’s territory.
Kidnapping dropped drastically since 2000 as the Colombian government, supported with U.S. aid, pushed the guerrillas away from economically important areas.
At the beginning of 2012, the FARC banned kidnapping and, according to the official statistics, kidnapping subsequently dropped 23%. However, even before the guerrilla group vowed not to kidnap again, common criminals were already suspected of having taken over the horrid crime. Some 590 reported kidnapping victims are still missing.