Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said Friday that an NGO report claiming kidnapping has increased in the country was “distortional” and “bad intentioned.”
“I ask myself what the reasons are to want to distort numbers (…) The only thing they end up doing is discouraging the community, leading the community to believe the security situation is getting worse,” said Pinzon.
The report by Colombian humanitarian organization Pais Libre stated that kidnappings in Colombia rose 11% between January and March in 2012, compared to the same period last year.
Pinzon claimed extortive kidnappings this year were lower than in a decade, with a reduction of 35% compared to 2011.
“Extortive kidnappings were used by criminal groups and terrorists to increase their source of income, to terrorize the population, to subdue the Colombian people, this has been reduced and this year [the rate] has once again gone down, it continues to go down and is at the lowest level of the decade,” Pinzon continued.
The defense minister concluded by saying general cases of kidnapping, whether extortive or otherwise, had been reduced by 20% in 2012 compared to last year.