Kidnappings in Colombia went up 20% in the first half of 2011 compared to the same period last year, figures released Sunday by the country’s Ministry of Defense showed.
According to the Ministry, 108 people were kidnapped in the first six months of the year against 93 last year. The most prominent cases were that of four Chinese oil workers who were kidnapped by alleged FARC rebels in June, the brief kidnapping of a group of 23 oil workers in March and that of a mayoral candidate who was rescued Saturday.
The ministry reported that 74 of the reported kidnappings were to claim ransom.
In 2010, 282 people were kidnapped, which was a 32% rise compared to the year before. The FARC was then held responsible for 23% of the kidnapping cases.