Kidnappings in Colombia rise 5.6% in 2011

Kidnappings in Colombia rose 5.6% in 2011, compared to the previous year, reported El Espectador Wednesday.

In that period, the number of foreign nationals taken captive more than tripled, with ten last year, compared to three in 2010.

The statistics released by Colombia’s Ministry of Defense originally showed a year-on-year drop in kidnappings, but these figures do not inculde 22 oil workers taken hostage in March in the eastern department of Vichada.

Out of the 298 registered kidnappings last year, 243 ended in release, 40 are still held and 15 died in captivity.

According to the report, half of the releases came as the result of “direct action” of the security forces, “either through rescue or military pressure.”

Of the abductions, 60% were perpetrated by common criminals, 36% by FARC and ELN rebels, and 4% by neo-paramilitary groups.

The report comes amid recent protests against kidnappings and three weeks after a botched kidnapping attempt left two soldiers and three suspected kidnappers dead in southwest Colombia.


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