In this quarter’s edition of the Global Kidnap Bulletin we delve into the practice of wrongful detention globally, assess the role state agents play in kidnapping in Mexico, look at the rising kidnapping threat in South Africa, examine the rise of violent crime in Canada, and map the dynamics behind the latest trends in kidnapping in the Philippines.
Wrongful detention: The high stakes political game between rival governments
Some states use the detention of foreign nationals as a tool to seek certain foreign policy objectives. Amid global geopolitical tensions, some recent incidents have highlighted the threat particularly travellers fitting a certain profile face. Negotiations seeking the release of victims can be complex, and many find themselves held in foreign countries for extended periods of time.
State capture: Cartels, kidnapping and carte blanche in Mexico
While data on kidnapping is always incomplete, official statistics showing declining kidnapping figures in Mexico may not be painting a true picture. Evidence showing pervasive corruption – and collusion between cartels and state and security actors – suggests the kidnapping threat in the country remains a significant concern for locals and foreign travellers alike.
On the rise: Kidnap for ransom in South Africa
The most recent police statistics in South Africa show a concerning jump in the number of kidnap for ransom incidents reported in the country. Declining socio-economic conditions, and the likely collusion of police officials in some kidnapping cases, are some of the key factors in driving the growing threat.
Guns and all: A closer look at violent crime in Canada
Despite government steps to limit the ease of access to firearms in the country, data shows an increase in both the seizures of illegal firearms and in the use of firearms in homicides in Canada.
Trends and targets: Kidnapping in the Philippines
With a dwindling threat from the Abu Sayyaf group in the southern Philippines, most recent kidnapping cases in the country have been related to the gambling industry. We look at the latest data on kidnapping in the Philippines.