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Kidnapping

In: English and Literature

Submitted By carabear2222
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Kidnapping for ransom is a common occurrence in various parts of the world today, and certain cities and countries are often described as the "Kidnapping Capital of the World." As of 2007, that title belongs to Iraq with possibly 1,500 foreigners kidnapped.[22][23] In 2004, it was Mexico,[24] and in 2001, it was Colombia.[25] Statistics are harder to come by. Reports suggest a world total of 12,500-25,500/year with 3,600/year in Colombia and 3,000/year in Mexico around the year 2000.[26] However by 2006, the number of kidnappings in Colombia had declined to 687 and it continues to decline.[27] Mexican numbers are hard to confirm because of fears of police involvement in kidnapping.[28] "Kidnapping seems to flourish particularly in fragile states and conflict countries, as politically motivated militias, organized crime and the drugs mafia fill the vacuum left by government."[21]
In 2009, the Los Angeles Times named Phoenix, Arizona[29] as America's kidnapping capital, reporting that every year hundreds of ransom kidnappings occur there, virtually all within the underworld associated with human and drug smuggling from Mexico, and often done as a way of collecting unpaid debts. Other major U.S. cities that are hotbeds for kidnappings are Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston, and Chicago.[29] Many of them are done by major street gangs near tourist attractions.
During the year 1999 in the United States, 203,900 children were reported as the victims of family abductions and 58,200 of non-family abductions. However, only 115 were the result of "stereotypical" kidnaps (by someone unknown or of slight acquaintance to the child, held permanently or for ransom).[30]
In the past, and presently in some parts of the world (such as southern Sudan), kidnapping is a common means used to obtain slaves and money through ransom. In less recent times, kidnapping in the form of shanghaiing (or "pressganging") men was used to supply merchant ships in the 19th century with sailors, whom the law considered unfree labour.[citation needed]
Kidnapping on the high seas in connection with piracy has been increasing. It was reported that 661 crewmembers were taken hostage and 12 kidnapped in the first 9 months of 2009.[31]
Criminal gangs are estimated to make up to $500 million a year in ransom payments from kidnapping.[32]
Kidnapping has been identified as one source by which terrorists organizations have been known to obtain funding.[33]
The Perri, Lichtenwald and MacKenzie article identified Tiger kidnapping as a specific method used by a known terrorist organization, although which terrorist cell conducted the intelligence gathering, which terrorist cell made direct contact, and which terrorist cells shared in the profit prior to forwarding the monies obtained from the kidnapping up to the top organization members is not known for certain.

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