Mexico’s Veracruz state sees spike in kidnap rate

The Mexican state of Veracruz has experienced a significant spike in the number of kidnappings in recent months. According to HX Security, a Mexican security consultancy, over 20 incidents occurred in the state during the month of December (see below) although given many people don’t report these crimes, the actual numbers are probably much higher.  

Veracruz’s December 2017 kidnaps

  1. Three kidnap victims were rescued by federal and state police in Tres Valles.
  2. A woman was rescued in Jamapa after being held for 13 days.
  3. A female bank employee was kidnapped while driving in Coatzintla.
  4. A physician was rescued after being kidnapped in Xalapa.
  5. A businessman was held for two weeks and released after paying a ransom in Coatzacoalcos.
  6. A school teacher was held for one month and released after paying a ransom in Tuxpan.
  7. The son of a bakery owner was kidnapped and held for several days in Huatusco. His family paid a ransom to obtain his release.
  8. A physician was kidnapped and later released in Río Blanco. It is suspected he paid a ransom.
  9. An individual was injured by gunmen during an attempted kidnapping in Veracruz.
  10. Businessmen were kidnapped in Papantla, Coyutla, and Soconusco. Their whereabouts are unknown.
  11. A commercial farmer was kidnapped in Sayula de Alemán.
  12. A son of a businessman was kidnapped in Huatusco.
  13. The son of the owner of a liquor store was kidnapped in Naolinco.
  14. A gym instructor was kidnapped in Martínez de la Torre.
  15. The son of a commercial lemon grower was kidnapped and killed in Cachuatal.
  16. A woman was kidnapped in front of a kindergarten in Cosoleacaque.
  17. A teacher was kidnapped from inside an elementary school in Coatzacoalcos.
  18. A woman was kidnapped from her vehicle in Pánuco.
  19. A woman was kidnapped while sweeping in front of her home in Papantla, while with her 4 year-old daughter.
  20. A female employee of the Federal Electricity Commission was kidnapped during a birthday party in Tecolutla.
  21. A 17 year-old girl was kidnapped in Sayula de Alemán.
  22. Young women were kidnapped and killed in Xalapa and Poza Rica.

 Veracruz state has seen extraordinary levels of kidnappings at all levels of society, says Elman Myers, Managing Director of Hiscox Special Risks in Miami: “The number and variety of victims is troubling. It underscores the lengths that Mexican organised criminal groups will go to obtain ransoms. It clearly shows that no one living, working in, or visiting Veracruz state is immune to the threat of kidnapping for ransom.”