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News > Mexico

Mexico: 12,012 Kidnappings Reported Under President Peña Nieto

  • Members of Mexico's anti-kidnapping police break into a house to rescue two people in May 2010, Nezahualcoyotl.

    Members of Mexico's anti-kidnapping police break into a house to rescue two people in May 2010, Nezahualcoyotl. | Photo: EFE

Published 11 January 2019

Enrique Peña Nieto's term (2012-2018) was the most violent in Mexico's recent history.

Alto al Secuestro (Stop Kidnappings) recorded 12,012 kidnappings in Mexico during the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), making it one of the most dangerous countries on the continent.


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According to the organization, there were 165 kidnappings every month, translating to 39 each week or six daily on average.

The State of Mexico, surrounding the country’s capital city, registered the highest number of kidnappings with 2,701 cases, followed by Veracruz with 1,353, Tamaulipas with 1,321, Guerrero with 987 and Mexico City with 882.

No kidnappings were registered in Baja California Sur, Campeche, Durango, Nayarit, Sonora and Yucatan.

During a press conference Thursday, Alto al Secuestro demanded state governments join forces with the federal administration to implement a broader strategy. It also applauded the work of the National Anti-Kidnapping Coordinator (Conase).

“There’s still a lot work to do about kidnappings and the corresponding authorities have not announced future plans to combat this crime,” said Isabel Miranda de Wallace, the group’s president, during the press conference.

Peña Nieto was president of Mexico between 2012 and 2018 and registered much higher levels of violence than his predecessor Felipe Calderon, who launched the 'War on Drugs' that killed thousands.

According to official numbers, there were 123,000 murders during Peña Nieto’s administration, a 19 percent increase compared with Calderon’s.

In the first month since center-left President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office, at least 127 kidnappings have been reported and 135 people arrested.

The previous month, Peña Nieto’s last, there were 126 kidnappings and 153 arrests.

Comparing the first months of both presidents, the organization registered 164 kidnappings nationwide in December 2012, while there were only 127 in December 2018, representing a 22.5 percent decrease.

Alto al Secuestro records kidnappings investigated by state and federal prosecutors but also takes into account those reported by media outlets or others investigated by the federal police, resulting in higher figures than official numbers.

In December 2018, the federal government registered only 121 kidnappings, 4.7 percent less than the organization’s figure.

According to the National System of Public Security, there were 7,437 kidnappings during Peña Nieto’s administration, 38 percent less than the overall figure by Alto al Secuestro.

In ninestates the organization registered more victims than actual kidnappings, meaning that in some cases there were two or more people kidnapped.

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