FAM International Security’s Map of Mexico’s Kidnapping Hotspots
The Business of Kidnapping for Ransom in Mexico is Booming
Drug cartels and local gangs have used kidnapping as a long established method for financing their criminal enterprises in Mexico. According to official reports kidnappings in Mexico have increased by 300% since 2005. However, many kidnappings in Mexico go unreported bring up the percentage even higher. The usual kidnapping in Mexico is professionally planned and skillfully carried out and often pulled off in broad daylight on public streets without police detection. The following provides some insider information on the ways and means of kidnapping and what to do to prevent from becoming a prime target when visiting Mexico.
The Use of Traditional Kidnapping
The drug cartels in Mexico generally use the traditional form of kidnapping for ransom whereby the victim is abducted and kept captive for a drawn-out period until the victim’s family or company pays the ransom money set by the kidnapers. Kidnapping in Mexico is a highly-prosperous business; where ransoms of $5 to $6 million are not uncommon. Western business travelers, wealthy vacationists and the local upper class are most often the victims of this method of kidnap for ransom in Mexico. This form of kidnapping is also the best method of money-making for the kidnappers and the most hazardous for the abductees. There are numerous kidnap-related deaths in Mexico each year with and without the ransom being paid. Traditional kidnapping is credible threat of high magnitude in Mexico.
The Use of Express Kidnapping
The local gangs in Mexico use a combination of the traditional method and express kidnapping; whereby the victim is kidnapped and placed into a motor vehicle and force the victim to withdraw money from ATMs until the victim’s bank accounts has been depleted. Victims are normally abducted for a limited period (a few hours to a few days). Western business travelers, wealthy vacationists and the local upper class are most often the victims of express kidnapping in Mexico. This form of kidnapping only produces between several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars in profit for the kidnapers therefore it is mostly used by local gang members and not members of established drug cartels in Mexico. Express kidnapping is credible threat of high magnitude in Mexico.
- Potential Targets
There is a high threat of kidnapping throughout Mexico from financially motivated and driven groups and individuals foreign business personnel and wealthy vacationists are the main potential targets of concern in Mexico. As previously mentioned many kidnappings in Mexico have ended with the death of abductees and continues to grow and spread across the country.
- Reducing the Opportunity
The following are some professional methods of reducing your risk when visiting Mexico.
- Be Low-Profile
While visiting Mexico do not attraction attention to yourself (do not drive in expensive automobiles, wear watches, jewelry, openly display cell-phone or laptops).
- Keep in Touch
Keep in touch with your local office and home corporate office daily. Confirm that a specific person has your itinerary and that you check in with the designated individual on a consistent basis during your trip to Mexico.
- Situational Awareness
Situational awareness can help lessen the risk of kidnapping; keep aware of the things going on around you when visiting Mexico. Ensure you have prearranged safe havens setup a contingency plan (police stations, hotels, hospitals and shopping centers that are known to be safe).
- Operational Security
When in Mexico do not openly discuss your business itinerary in public, only discuss travel plans in known secure areas away from the public’s eyes and ears.
- Unpredictable routines
Very your routes daily to and from your hotel and place of work or meeting venues while in Mexico in a way that is not easily predictable. However, your driver should not drive on back streets or in the rundown sections of the city, he should keep to the city and commercial thoroughfares for safety.
- FAM Security Drivers
Because a substantial percentage of the kidnappings in Mexico involves transportation FAM provides skilled, competent, professional security drivers to assure your safety when traveling the Mexican roads, highways and byways during business trips.
- FAM Personal Security Agents
Because Mexico is a fundamentally unpredictable and a dangerous place, where the risk of kidnapping is assessed at high with rampant police corruption (Mexican police officers have been involved in recent kidnapping incidents) FAM provides professionally trained personal security agents to ensure the safety of business travelers to Mexico.
Follow the advice in this article, however keep in mind that the visit to Mexico involves the potential of high kidnap risks that may be difficult to overcome with certainty. Consult with FAM INTL and seriously consider the use of specialized services and personnel. The probability that these will prove effective is extremely high; ensuring your safety and security while visiting Mexico.
FAM International Security
Address: 5400 South University Drive, Suite 402,
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33328-5314
Phone: +1 954-252-0166
Fax: +1 954-252-8308
Toll Free: 888.326.0070
Website Address: www.faminternational.com