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Kidnapping: The Social Impact (Part 1 of 2)

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The Problem

Kidnapping is one of the felonies that have a larger social impact in a population. These crimes are usually conducted through organized crime, so it’s not just the regular burglar that was acting alone to steal a wallet.

The crime of kidnapping is a complex one. And it might be that the interactions and relationships between the individuals, the social actors, and the state, are factors that need to be taken into account in a dynamic process to explain it (Ochoa, 2012).

Plot of Regression Standardized Residual

The kidnappers are the people who from the time they wake up in the morning until the time they go to bed at night, are constantly thinking about how they can get easy money. They don’t aspire to earn the money through hard work as the rest of the citizens do. Instead, they take advantage of others using knowledge, power, and networks. The victims are dehumanized and treated severely as objects by the kidnappers who discharge in them all kinds of physical and psychological cruelty, which impacts the affected, the family and the entire society at large.

Between the characteristics and consequences, kidnapping represents a threat to the stability of the population, and a big pain to the families throughout the rest of their lives.

Kidnapping people also brings in large economic resources for the cell and, as a result, the wrong-doing organizations have been growing into a true evil-industry.

There are many variants of kidnapping, which mainly has the object of exchanging economic resources for the freedom of the kidnapped person. However, this felony gives hint to the commission of other felonies such as traffic of minors, murder, extortion, etc.

Kidnapping in the World

Kidnappings per inhabitants

The ONODC is the United Nations Office against Drugs and Crime. Using information from them and from the World Bank about the GINI coefficients, one can build a model that correlates between the kidnappings per 100,000 inhabitants and the GINI coefficients.

This suggests that poverty and inequality are related to the number of kidnappings happening in the world. Of course, kidnapping is a complex issue; it doesn’t only depend on poverty but also on tons of other elements in the society.

Besides this, in general you can see that the same rates have been dropping steadily in the world as more countries are trying to fight this hurdle – except that in 2011 there’s a change in the trend, of which we still have no explanation.

An example, Mexico (Part 2)

In Part 2 of this series – to be posted next week – I’ll provide a real life example about the Mexican government and what solutions agents and investigators have used to tackle their kidnapping problem.  In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, please leave them for me below.

Franklin Recio
Manager – Business – CALA, SS8

Featured image courtesy of imfoto/shuttershock
Ochoa, R. (2012). Not just the rich: new tendencies in kidnapping in Mexico City. Global Crime, 13(1), 1-21. doi: 10.1080/17440572.2011.632499

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