Criminal Justice

Kidnappings for Ransom in Mexico—and the US—Are Up Significantly

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Kidnappings for ransom are reportedly way up in Mexico, and even spilling into nearby U.S. areas, as gangs try to avoid greatly increased anti-drug trafficking enforcement there and obtain more income from alternative criminal ventures.

“Corporate security experts estimate that drug gangs are now responsible for 30 to 50 kidnappings a day in Mexico and that ransoms often run to $300,000 if the victim is returned alive,” reports the McClatchy News Service.

Meanwhile, some gangs apparently are increasing the ante in the United States, too, the article states. “Phoenix police investigated more than 350 kidnappings last year, a 40 percent increase from the year before.”

One victim who lived to tell the story is a lawyer’s son, Daniel Escobedo, 21, who was stopped at a seeming security checkpoint in Juarez by men who appeared to be uniformed police officers and was then kidnapped by masked gunmen. They reportedly held and tortured him for more than a month, until he was rescued by Mexican soldiers.

‘For a month and a half, I thought I was going to die,” Escobedo says.

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