Posted by The Generals on August 12, 2011, 10:41 am
LatinNews Daily - 10 August 2011 |
Another black hole: kidnapping & disappearances
With Mexico's elections in sight, the administration of President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa has launched a plan to ‘prevent, persecute and sanction kidnapping’, which is basically identical to the one announced three years ago. It comes after a new surge in reported kidnappings, and frustration at the slow pace of ‘certifying’ state police forces.
On 30 June the Consejo Nacional de Seguridad Pública (CNSP) approved the new anti-kidnapping plan, drawn up by the federal chief prosecutor’s office (PGR), based on the creation of specialised anti-kidnap units in every one of Mexico’s 32 states. The creation of such units was agreed three years ago by the states in a pact agreed under the auspices of the CNSP. According to the latest information produced by the national public security service (SNSP), of 1,223 police officers trained for such a job countrywide, so far 78% have been assessed. México Unido Contra la Delincuencia (MUCD), an anti-crime NGO, does not believe this. As recently as last February, only two jurisdictions were known to have fully certified antikidnap units.
The SNSP has announced that in January-May this year, 646 kidnappings were reported to the authorities across the country. This suggests that this year as a whole will show another increase, after the 1,163 cases reported in 2009 and the 1,262 of 2010. The states with the highest number of reported kidnappings are Chihuahua, Michoacán, Tamaulipas and Edomex (Estado de México), which, with the exception of Tamaulipas, have regularly featured among the country’s top kidnapping hotspots.
Reported kidnappings leapt in 2008 from the annual average of 433 in the previous seven years; authorities say this is because the public’s confidence in reporting the crime has increased. MUCD maintains that the incidence of kidnapping is still grossly under-reported, and that the real figure is likely to be above 10,000. Another NGO, the Instituto Ciudadano de Estudios Sobre la Inseguridad (Icesi), has tallied 4,323 kidnappings since the beginning of the Calderón administration in 2006.
Javier Sicilia, the man who set in motion a mass movement demanding a change in the government’s anticrime programme, claims that there are about 10,000 ‘disappeared’ persons in Mexico. The Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDH), the official body that acts as a public ombudsman’s office, reported in February that since Calderón took office it had received reports of 5,397 ‘disappearances’.
From a different, but probably overlapping point of view, the CNDH reported that 8,898 people killed in that timespan have yet to be identified.
Reported kidnapping cases 2001-10
Year Reported cases Year Reported cases
2001 505 2006 595
2002 433 2007 438
2003 413 2008 907
2004 323 2009 1,163
325 2010 1,262
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