Dip 1

Chapter 1: Extortive Kidnapping in Mexico: Possible Mitigation Strategies
³Panic, loneliness, tremor, fear for the loss of one¶s life and dignity« those are the feelings of a person who has been kidnapped´ (Mondragon, 2004). Due to the increasing popularity of the kidnapping crime in Mexico this paper will define kidnapping, explain how the kidnapping process typically occurs, and explore the different ways to mitigate this criminal threat in Mexico, focusing more on the personal security level as well as government level. The growth of kidnapping as one of the most lucrative criminal enterprises in Mexico is facilitated by a challenged national economy and ineffectual law enforcement. The business of kidnapping is no longer just a crime, but a growing industry of violent crimes. Kidnapping is defined as when a suspect illegally holds his victim captive, that is, against the will of the victim. The victim is most commonly referred to as the hostage. The hostage is then held against his will for reasons such as: The sale of the victim¶s body organs in the black market, for political reasons, the looting of personal processions that he carries at the time of the abduction, forcing sexual activity upon the person. Today, in Mexico, hostages are most commonly held for ransom. A ransom is usually a large sum of money requested by the hostage-takers in return for that hostage. Kidnapping as one of the most common and lucrative crimes in the country of Mexico, is worth studying in order to discover the economic reasons for the frequency of kidnapping and its taking into consideration in order to argue whether mitigation strategies should take place on a personal physical security and government level. 12/8/2010

Dip 2 Mexico was believed to have the second greatest amounts of kidnappings in the world or so sources pointed out, but in more recent articles that has changed; Colombia, which was ranked first, is no longer in the first place. The focus of this research on Mexican kidnappings is due to the fact that Colombian kidnappings and their results have much to do with drugs and politics. Mexico seems to have a different challenge, one of economic difficulty and heavy corruption. The word ³kidnap´ is derived from kid meaning ³child´ and nap meaning ³snatch´, which was used during 1673 when children would be snatched to work as servants and laborers in American colonies. The original definition of kidnap is when a person is held illegally against their will, consent, or approval regardless of their age or even if they are held for any type of ransom. Other forms of illegal capture since 1978 were abductions that happened during war between two or more countries (Kidnapping, 2006). Today these abductions are known as Prisoners Of War (POWs). Others include war criminals, like for instance Saddam Hussein. As observed, a hostage or victim of a kidnapping is a person held by a captor or group of captors, who use the hostage as a tool for negotiation against another party which could potentially be a relative, employer, or even a government. Negotiations can relate to acts that the captors disagree with to some extent, negotiations are known to be terminated when an ultimatum, one that is issued by the captors, has expired (Gravino, 1999). An ultimatum is a demand accompanied by a threat to inflict some penalty if the demand is not met. If the ultimatum is not met then the hostage will suffer the consequences of the opposing party¶s failure to act.


Dip 3

Chapter 2: History of Kidnapping
In order to understand the basic concepts of the market of kidnapping in Mexico, a focus on the history of such must be presented. The history of kidnapping dates back to biblical times, more precisely is the story of Jacob¶s son Joseph whose brothers sold him to the Egyptians for 20 shekels. Even before biblical times and towards the year 1500 BC piracy had planted its roots in Egypt, Sicily, Libya, Greece and constituted to its growth in the high seas. Kidnapping gained recognition as a means of extortion was well established by then. Other instances surface that can be recalled as popular moments in history that much of the public is aware of; first, there is Homer¶s Iliad where Helen wife of Menelaus is kidnapped by prince Paris of Troy. Menelaus comes ashore the coasts of Troy in what is perhaps one of the most famous kidnappings in the history of mankind. Menelaus is determined with his armies to acquire his wife back which eventually leads to the destruction of the city of Troy through the use of the famous Trojan horse. A second instance is the kidnapping of Julius Caesar in a Mediterranean island by Sicilian pirates. The pirates demanded 30 talents of gold. Caesar, under captivity, insisted that they ask for 50 talents of gold instead. When the ransom was paid and Caesar released, Caesar not only captured the pirates who had kidnapped him, but decapitated them as well (a decapitation he had promised the pirates which they took as a joke). During the famous Crusades kidnapping was present as well with the capture of Richard I of England, who paid 150,000 marks for his release (Breve Historia del Secuestro en El Mundo,
2006). Kidnapping continued to show itself through the 16

and 17th century in the

Mediterranean. One example is the kidnapping of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, the famous author of Don Quixote de la Mancha, who was under captivity for a long time after the battle of Lepanto. In China, a ³shanghai´ which means kidnapping was very 12/8/2010

Dip 4 popular. Victims would be drugged and forcefully made to board merchant vessels that specialized in slave trafficking. Later in 1918, czar Nicholas II was kidnapped and murdered along with his family in Russia. One of the most famous kidnappings of the century took place in 1932. The child of famous pilot Charles Lindbergh, Charles Augustus Lindbergh III, was kidnapped and murdered. The child was then only 20 months old. The kidnapper was identified as Bruno Hauptmann and was executed on April 3, 1936. Despite the attributes that history has given on kidnappings like for instance: slavery appeared on the new continent kidnapping was already around, but not with the ransom methodology that hostage-takers use today. Slaves were a precious commodity all throughout the Americas. Landowners would steal these slaves by kidnapping them from their former owners at the time of abduction. A monetary value was placed on the heads of these people. When slavery was abolished and legally terminated the kidnapping concept evolved into a more complex set of ideas as to what an abduction¶s purpose was for. When slavery was around the purpose of kidnapping a slave was to keep him as a servant, again a precious commodity for landowners, who would use their forced labor to enrich themselves. These slaves would then work on the field or provided domestic services. According to Jimenez Orchard, ³slavery has as its base the ignorance of the spiritual nature of the man and the equality of his ancestry, and negation of the human brotherhood´. Orchard implies that the spiritual nature of man is benevolent and that

kidnappers do not believe in racial equality. However, when Orchard refers to the ³negation of the human brotherhood´ I believe it is open to question. The origin of the kidnapping, as it is possible to conclude, comes from the forced-taking of people, turning 12/8/2010

Dip 5 these to slaves. This way they could be sold, obtaining a monetary compensation or servitude on the part of the owner and his successors by many years. The robbery of a slave was possible, which was more like a primitive revenge, were competing landowners would kidnap slaves from each other. During the Roman Empire this practice of stealing slaves was normal and was known as "plagium"; know as ³plagio´ in the Spanish language, a synonym for stealing and maintaining under forceful captivity (kidnap). When referring to the basic history of kidnapping in Mexico, it is not a very long one, but yet it remains interesting. In 1997 there were 998 reported kidnappings in Mexico; later in the first five months of 1998 there were 450 reported kidnappings. However, roots for the kidnapping business¶ growth stem from one significant kidnapping. In 1994, Alfredo Harp Helu, a Mexican Billionaire and ex-owner of the largest bank in Latin America (Banamex), was kidnapped. The kidnappers requested the sum of $30.2 million (in U.S. dollars) for his return (Gravino, 1999). It was a successful ending like this one, where the kidnappers actually got the quantity of money that they demanded, that received blame for the exponential growth of this crime in Mexico in the years to come. From this moment on Kidnapping was seen as an easy, low risk business with high profitability, a business where getting caught still made it tough for police to file evidence against criminals. Shopping for victims has been made easier with websites like Forbes Magazine where it is possible to find financial information of potential victims ranging from millionaires to billionaires. In Mexico, the frequency of this crime is very high, the numbers speak for themselves. In Mexico there are different groups that operate and use kidnapping as a tactic against the Mexican government as a tool of terror. Some of these groups with links to kidnappings are the Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR), Insurgent Popular 12/8/2010

Dip 6 Revolutionary Army (ERPI), Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN), Forces of National Liberation (FLN), and Revolutionary Armed forces of the People (FARP). Most of these groups are composed of the lower classes and have little or no respect for the Mexican bourgeoisie, further fueling their desire to commit the kidnapping crime against them (Moran, 2003). The problem of Mexico is definitely an economic one, followed by corruption, along-side the growing gap between the rich and the poor. This paper will define kidnapping and explain its operation in Mexico, then explore significant traits between the socioeconomic elements and increasing popularity of the crime. In the end there will be a well rounded thesis explaining every part of this innovative business that seems to grow more and more every day. The explanation of how the problem works will be soonafter followed by possible solutions that can be used in order to mitigate the kidnapping crime.


Dip 7

Chapter 3: Mexico¶s Challenged Economy
Imagine the following scenario: Mr. Carlos Dominguez, a high profile banker, has just left work. Inside his vehicle and on his left is one of his bodyguards on his right sits the second bodyguard and not to mention his third bodyguard who was already waiting in the heavy armored Chevy suburban. As Mr. Dominguez enters the vehicle, the chauffer bodyguard notices that the tank is low on fuel and decides to stop for gas. The Suburban heads for a nearby gas station. Upon arriving at the gas station the driver opens the gas cap for the employee at the pump. Within a few minutes police arrive at the scene to make sure Mr. Dominguez is fine. Nothing out of the ordinary, his bodyguards forgot to contact the company that tracks and monitors the vehicle¶s movement directly from Mr. Dominguez office to his house. The alarm was triggered when the vehicle took the detour towards the gas station, a turn the vehicle was not scheduled to take, a potential threat and possibility of kidnapping could have been the result. Thanks to the monitoring services that security companies provide, this was just one of many false alarms and potential threats that occur from time to time in the lives of people who live under constant protection. In Mexico, these situations are normal, for executives with high profiles, who are constantly being monitored by kidnappers. This is the environment in which people with many resources must endure through their entire lives in Mexico. One fact is that there are not as many rich people as there are poor, a problem for Mexico. Since kidnapping is a low risk crime that creates a money making opportunity favored by poor people. Mexico is not a rich country, and has one of the biggest cities in the world, Mexico City. Poverty is one of Mexico¶s biggest problems as the map in Figure 3.1 depicts. Most of the central and south part of Mexico fall under extreme poverty. Exceptions are the 12/8/2010

Dip 8 district of Guadalajara and the Mexico City area along with all the northern districts like Baja California South, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila and Tamaulipas. Even though Mexico has a total GDP of 1.067 trillion dollars it fails to have an appropriate distribution of wealth (Central Intelligence Agency, 2006). The $10,000 dollar per capita GDP that is estimated towards Mexico is not a real one. The fact is that it is offset by all the rich people whose earnings surpass those of the poor and significantly causes this national GDP per capita average to rise. Figure 3.1 Predicted Poverty Statuses in Mexico, 2000

Source: (Poverty Mapping in Mexico, 2000) According to a 2004 report regarding the poverty levels in Mexico, it was found that a significant reduction in poverty was evident from a 24.2% to a 20.3% for people living in extreme poverty. For people who live in moderate poverty, from 53.7% to a 51.7% . 12/8/2010

Dip 9 In the 1995 crisis that Mexico¶s currency suffered there was a significant increase of people living in extreme poverty from a 21% in 1995 to a 37% in 1996. Between 1996 and 2002 extreme poverty was reduced by 20%. Due to international subsidies that were appointed to the poorest sectors of the Mexican population between 2000 and 2002 extreme poverty was reduced again. The study points out an important fact; 44% of the indigenous people in Mexico can be found in the most remote and extremely poor areas due to their low wages. These indigenous people are also deprived, at least in some way, of health services, education, and access to basic services (i.e. water and electricity) Despite the instability of the Mexican economy and its challenge to provide a respectable lifestyle for its citizens public spending improved from 8.4% in the 1990¶s to 9.8% after 2000 (Banco Mundial, 2004). In 1994, Mexico suffered an economic crisis that changed a future that Mexico would face. At the end of 1993, international monetary reserves in Mexico stood at 24 billion which accounted for a 25 percent increase from the previous year. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) introduced foreign investment into Mexico and allowed state owned companies, once restricted to national ownership only, to have foreigners purchase them. NAFTA was yet to be signed, until January 1, 1994 between the United States, Canada and Mexico. Mexico¶s economy was regarded as flourishing by international community and even called Mexico the next 1st world country, but the inexperience of the government took its toll. Later in December 20, 1994 the Mexican government devalued their currency, the Peso, by 15 percent, in an attempt to halt the overvalued Mexican peso (The Mexican Peso Crisis Constituent Pressure and Exchange Rate Policy, 1997). This attempt failed and pegging to the United States dollar was removed and the currency was allowed to float on its own since the deficit could not be 12/8/2010

Dip 10 corrected. This action was detrimental because it brought unemployment up by 6% and a decrease in Mexico¶s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). As Figure 3.2 shows the crisis would eventually be caused by insufficient international reserves in Mexico¶s Central Bank. Figure 3.2 Mexican International Reserves, 1993-1994

Source: (Whitt, 1996) Unemployment caused poverty levels to increase. The crisis brought reduction in employment which in turn increased poverty, also triggered by a depreciated currency and increases in credit accounts. Poverty directly caused crime rates to increase. Employment sources fell as companies who suffered from the crisis cut back on labor and caused significant unemployment rates. From this data it can be presumed that people¶s


Dip 11 basic needs were infringed and therefore a select few found a possible solution to their financial needs: Kidnapping for ransom. Although poverty plays a major role in the kidnapping business, as this thesis proposes, it is not the only reason for this type of crime. Kidnapping as a low-risk crime in Mexico and is not only due to the fact that poverty and a misdistribution of wealth exist, but police involvement is much to blame for. An obvious distrust of the police is one of the biggest problems throughout Mexico. Police are often found guilty of participating in many kidnappings. Corruption among the Mexican police force is by large one of the biggest problems. In recent data through interviews on Mexican police it was found that most of the policemen in the workforce join because of the monetary gain through illicit actions on and off duty. Articles in the newspaper never lack a story where police officers are often found guilty for a crime or in the involvement on a kidnapping case. Policemen are often found kidnapping civilian car drivers and introducing drugs in their vehicles. These civilian drivers are then asked for money in return for their liberty after being deliberately framed by police (Lopez, 2005). Captors who manage to capture their desired targets also manage to gather intelligence from police officers who do a better job at collecting such information because they might have a special bond with for example, employees of the victim, or know the victim¶s daily routine. Sometimes police officers are simply paid-off by captors; therefore any investigation leading to the kidnapping will end in the capture of these police officers. As CBC news said, ³Corruption has reached a point where it¶s often difficult to tell the police from the criminals.´ This is no surprise to many citizens in Mexico specially those who live in Federal District (also known as Mexico City).


Dip 12 Kidnapping cases are very publicizes throughout Mexico and the media is quick to draw news on any recent kidnappings where the kidnappers have turned out to be police officers. The problem of police corruption is big, as CBC news continues to say: [³It's a gigantic problem," Aguayo says. "He inherits a force that is totally inefficient, the result of 70 years of corruption. You have to change the very heart of the police."] Aguayo intends to say that it is a cultural problem, one that the Mexican government has not taken serious steps to resolve. Corruption among the police force is normal and citizens are afraid to report kidnappings to police, be it during or after a kidnap situation. It is very hard to come up with numbers when it comes to corruption alone in the kidnapping crime, but overall there are estimates that show corruptions patterns in Mexico, Figure 3.3 depicts such data. Figure 3.3 Corruption Estimates in Mexico, 2002

Source: (Cause for Murder & Transparencia Mexicana, 2002)

Although the data gathered shows bribes given to officials in all 38 different public services it does not include detail pertaining to the police force. The map does show one interesting fact that must be pointed out. Corruption is at its worst in Mexico City, with 12/8/2010

Dip 13 22% or more corruption, and where 2 out of every 3 kidnappings take place. Guerrero, Puebla, Jalisco and Michoacan states follow in corruption levels after Mexico City.


Dip 14

Chapter 4: Problem Chapter
The Kidnapping Operation
A false sense of security among individuals is common in the country of Mexico. This is the situation inhabitants in the country of Mexico live through every day. Mexico is a country where people fear reprisals by their own police force. Police are often involved in many kidnappings, something that is an old custom, according to general public in Mexico. The media in Mexico never fails to report cases where the police officers were involved in the same kidnappings that they were supposed to investigate. Kidnapping has become a problem of huge dimension in Mexico. In this chapter kidnapping will be defined, operational procedures of kidnappers will be explained, and the actual kidnapping event examined. Things change drastically though when a person¶s right to freedom is taken away by another person. Merriam Webster¶s online dictionary defines kidnapping as ³to seize and detain or carry away by unlawful force or fraud and often with a demand for ransom.´ Another source, The New Oxford American Dictionary, defines kidnapping as to ³take away illegally by force, typically to obtain a ransom´ (Jewell and Abate, 2005). In the introduction of this thesis

the concept and definition of kidnapping was discussed as including the taking away of freedom from a person. However, there are many legal and social definitions of kidnapping. Kidnapping can also be defined as: The crime of stealing a person, formed by the words kid (child) and napping (stealing). The idea is ancient and can be found in Genesis 37: 1828, where Joseph was taken by his brothers and sold into slavery for 20 shekels. Kidnapping includes stealing, adducting, or carrying away a


Dip 15 person by force or fraud, often with a demand for ransom. (Shally-Jensen, 2005) Mr. Luis Ochiuzzi Agrelo, an inspector for 25 years in the Argentine Police, who is now retired, has written a guide to anti-kidnapping in which he defines kidnapping as: Kidnapping: means catching and keeping in an enclosed location civil servants, businessmen, politicians, trade union leaders, military men, civilians, or their relatives so as to get, by depriving them of their freedom, different aims, which can be political, economical. (Ochiuzzi, 2003) After defining kidnapping, Mr. Ochiuzzi makes a very important point which is perhaps crucial to any person who wants to avoid getting kidnapped. He continues: In fact, it is necessary to know the methods used by the kidnappers and the appropriate measures that might be adopted for the sake of protection with the aim of reducing, neutralizing or voiding their action. (Ochiuzzi, 2003) Defining kidnapping is an arduous task because kidnapping takes many forms and involves different people, be it a businessman or any military personnel. Although both of these definitions are very basic, they are not always true for every case. For example, a kidnapper does not always ask for ransom, as is in the case where kidnapping are committed for political objectives. However, the definition of kidnapping for ransom fits perfectly in Mexico as most kidnappers demand ransom from their victim¶s family. A trend that is seen in criminal kidnapping groups inside Mexico (see Table 4.2) Kidnapping is one of the most popular and lucrative crimes in Latin America, but what makes it so common in Mexico is the monetary benefit obtained rather than any political objective. Another important fact is that as of 2005 Mexico has surpassed Colombia in the number of kidnappings per year (CNN, 2005). Mexico is now the king 12/8/2010

Dip 16 of the kidnapping business in Latin America. The numbers of kidnappings for ransom continues to grow in Mexico, while a decrease in this type of kidnapping has taken place in Colombia. Colombia suffers from kidnappings; however, a wide majority of their kidnappings are mostly political in nature. Comparisons must be made between these two countries (Mexico and Colombia) in order for the reader to understand that Mexico is not the only country that suffers from this problem, but at the same time the intention is not to misalign the contents of this thesis by making such comparisons. After all kidnapping as it happens in Mexico is the focus of this thesis. The following chart (Table 4.1) is evidence of Mexico being the leader in the number of kidnapping for ransom with a mean settlement of over $500,000, wherein comparison to Colombia with only $127,000 per extortive settlement. Table 4.1: Ransom Settlements by Leading Countries

Source: (Briggs, 2001)

As this chart shows, after Mexico and Colombia, the Philippines ranks third in ransom mean settlements with $59,033 and the Brazil is fourth and last with $31,944. Colombia is known more for political kidnapping than kidnapping for ransom, as the evidence is shown in (Table 4-2): Another clear distinction must be made between domestic and non-domestic kidnapping. A victim does not need to be removed from his home, normal living quarters, or working place in order for such a case to be considered kidnapping. For instance, if an 12/8/2010

Dip 17 individual is held captive within his own home or office, the person¶s free will and movement is being restricted. Snatching a person from his home, normal living quarters, or working place and relocating the victim to another location is a method captors use gain operational control of any kidnapping operation. One can conclude that kidnapping has a variety of definitions determined in regards to circumstances and motivations of the individual kidnapping. The definition that will be used in this thesis as regards the nature of kidnapping for ransom is the following: Kidnapping is depriving an individual from his/her freedom in any way and with the final goal of requesting payment (extortion) in return for their freedom. Not always is kidnapping for ransom payments. For instance, in Colombia it is a different story because guerillas like the FARC are willing to go farther to accomplish political aims through kidnapping. Chart 4-2 further serves as evidence of the different types of groups that operate in the confines of the different countries that are affected by the kidnapping crime, more importantly in Mexico. Table 4.2: Kidnapping Groups by Country


Dip 18
Source: (Briggs, 2001)

Regardless of the aims, kidnapping deprives an individual from his/her freedom, regardless of the victim¶s race, creed, color, political beliefs or status, economical background, or other distinct quality that the victim holds. Kidnappers normally do not discriminate, today anyone is a potential target in Mexico. Now that kidnapping has been defined, its actual operation as well as the process of victim selection by kidnappers in Mexico can now be explained. Capturing the Targeted Victim When a person is kidnapped for ransom there is no single factor that makes that person the perfect victim. Potential victims are always rich, unprotected, and sometimes well-known among society and according to kidnappers, willing to pay a ransom amount. These victim¶s are considered soft targets based on their lack of protective measures. When it is implied that a victim is rich the perfect victim also includes the son, daughters, nephews, nieces and grandsons of rich people because they are considered extensions of the family¶s wealth. Poverty, after the Mexican Peso Crisis, brought the need for kidnapping. As Chapter 2 explains, in 1994 Mexican billionaire Alfredo Harp Helu (See Figure 4.1) was deprived of his liberty for 106 days.
Figure 4.1 Mexican billionaire Aldredo Harp Helu

Source: (Salon del Empresario en Mexico, 2004)


Dip 19 Helu, shown in Figure 4.1 after his kidnap, was released after a $32.4 million dollar ransom was eventually paid to his kidnappers. After this benchmark kidnapping, Mexico¶s future would take an unexpected turn. The crime was considered of relative ease to execute, was of low risk and unbelievable profits; as the Helu kidnapping had shown. In 1996 the police claimed to have salvaged $10 million of the nearly $30 million ransom (Briggs, 2001). This large sum of money was to be used for the Popular Revolutionary Army¶s (EPR) newest equipment ranging from AK-47s and AR-15 assault rifles to Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine guns (Gravino, 1999). Thus, the ransom money was to be used to fund a military revolution within criminal kidnapping groups that would only serve to strengthen their kidnapping activities. Kidnapping not only affects the family of the victim, but society as a whole. The vast amounts of money paid in ransoms allow kidnappers to purchase equipment used to further finance operations. In the case of Mr. Helu, he was the perfect target because he lacked enough personal security, distrusted of others, and failed to demonstrate the constant awareness that was required to neutralize his kidnappers¶ plans. Mr. Harp simply did not take the appropriate security measure for a person of his wealth. The 3 criteria stated previously also came into play: Mr. Helu was rich, unprotected and well known among society. The reason for picking a certain candidate from other potential victims is somehow and in some way they are deemed a success to kidnap these victims over other potential victims based on their daily observed vulnerabilities. One of the biggest advantages that a kidnapper has is the collection of intelligence that allows them to run a smooth and successful operation. Information like important streets, intersections, back


Dip 20 roads, traffic patterns, and others to name a few, play an important role in selecting a victim too. Another reason kidnappers are successful is because they know what to expect from their victim based on gathered information. With the right intelligence a kidnapper will attain his objective. It is up to the future victim to spoil the kidnapper¶s plans. Spoiling a kidnapping plan can be achieved through hiring personal security or by being discreet in their daily activities. Sharing information like office hours, arrival times to one¶s house, and use of a bulletproofed a vehicle must be kept secret, and considered sensitive security information. The availability of such information on a potential kidnap victim plays as one of the kidnapper¶s key selection factors. Employees like maids, drivers, delivery men, or other family members must be briefed on the need to protect such information in order to accomplish an atmosphere of secrecy within a household. Since these people will likely learn sensitive information it is better to brief them about protecting such information than trying to withhold it from them. Picking the victim becomes effortless when kidnappers have established vulnerability in the daily actions of the victim. A vulnerability allows kidnappers a way around the security of a person, key to a successful operation. A plan to kidnap someone seems naturally easy, but this is not so. Criminals, who plan operations this complex, especially when the ransom that will be demanded is in the millions of dollars, must make sure that they are not caught. Getting caught could mean receiving one of Mexico¶s longest jail sentences. According to anti-kidnapping law in Mexico a kidnapper may get a maximum of 50 years jail time for kidnapping. Despite the severity of the sentence, the law does not appear to deter kidnapping today. As the


Dip 21 following excerpt from a Jane¶s Defense, one of the leading intelligence databases in the world today, indicates: «Daniel Arizmendi, who ran a professional kidnapping group with his brother and son, and was believed to be able to count on the support of some of his former police colleagues. His practice was to cut off his victims' ears and send them to relatives to ensure prompt payment of ransoms. He admitted to conducting 21 kidnappings during his career, although authorities believe him responsible for almost 200. In 1999 he was given the maximum sentence allowed under Mexican law of 50 years imprisonment, and had assets worth more than $10m seized by the state (Mc Dermott, 2003). It is a sad reality in the country of Mexico when it comes to the law. Laws in Mexico must be adjusted to recognize and deter the risk of getting kidnapped, a possible mitigation strategy that will be discussed in the final sections of this thesis. Today the laws in Mexico do not guarantee complete safety from kidnappers and evidence reassures that. Before suggesting any type of mitigation strategy on a personal physical security and government level it is essential to understand how kidnappers operate. Digging into their methods of operations and tactics will enable a better implementation of mitigation strategies in order to fight this crime which is why the following chapter will focus on such content. A Kidnapper¶s Plan A typical kidnapper¶s plan will now be described in order to better understand how these assailants operate. First, kidnappers have an advantage over the victim because there is usually no pressure to kidnap the victim within any period of time. Second, the 12/8/2010

Dip 22 kidnappers will study and know the area where the victim lives. Third, the area will be very familiar to them. Kidnappers must collect intelligence based on the potential victim¶s habits and movements which should be well-known. The kidnappers will develop timetables and itineraries, know the habits of the closest relatives like wife, children, grandsons and any other relatives. They will also know the routines of the maid or any security service personnel. The maid¶s routines can include taking out the trash or receiving packages at the front door. The security service personnel routines could include assignment of bodyguard, schedules of that area¶s private police unit patrol, or even of the national police patrols. The plan for kidnapping is carefully weaved into a project by the kidnappers. Kidnappers will most often ensure the accuracy of the intelligence they have gathered. The accuracy of the gathered intelligence can range from exact times to particular actions the possible victim performs in their daily routines. For example, if the criminals have identified that their future victim leaves his or her office at 5 pm to go home, the criminals must prove or double checked that information in order to make sure that the operation goes as planned. Kidnappers then continue to use tactics similar to those of terrorists, those known also as insurrection tactics (Ochiuzzi, 2003). Insurrection tactics, according to Ochiuzzi, includes the use of invisible maneuvers as a replacement and practice of the actual kidnapping. Such ³practices´ are held two or three times or until the plan works in perfect conjunction with the competition of the desired objective. Most often this invisible maneuver or ³practice´ is executed under very similar conditions and by using exact times and similar days of the actual operation. Kidnappers ensure everything runs according to planned. In a way, kidnappers make sure every


Dip 23 member participating in the operation knows their role, which helps them avoid following orders during the execution of the actual plan. Kidnappers are secretive within their criminal groups and will not reveal or mention any part of their operation to strangers to avoid detection. Personal physical security deterrence is the last resort for potential kidnap victims. It must be emphasized, however, that a person who believes he or she is a possible target of kidnapping, must take all the necessary security precautions to avoid being kidnapped. These precautions will be discussed in Chapter 7. Once the kidnappers are sure that the operation has a high chance of success they will execute their plan. While it is often believed in Mexico that potential victims are aware of this type of crime and will do as much as they can to protect. Once the kidnappers have successfully found vulnerabilities that a future victim is not aware of, there is little to be done. The kidnappers have practiced their maneuvers, confirmed dates and times in accordance with gathered intelligence, and prepared to act. Most kidnappings occur when victims leave their office for home. The final stage of the kidnapping plan concludes with the victim in the kidnapper¶s hands. The Ransom Call? When it comes to preventing the kidnapping crime, many companies offer their security services. Ironically they can not always protect the person who pays them to do so. When protection fails and a victim is captured a negotiation must take place between kidnappers and the victim¶s family whether kidnapping insurance exists or not. Most companies who offer protection often persuade their clients to purchase kidnapping insurance, something clients should deem as an investment, not an expense. After capturing a victim, most captors contact families depending on a properly fit time lapse.


Dip 24 Longer times could represent the kidnapper¶s confidence of not getting captured and keep police guessing on the victim¶s whereabouts (if the police is not involved that is). According to Emilio Meluk, a Colombian writer for the Presidential Program for the Defense of Personal Liberty, negotiation is an important factor when it comes to saving a victim¶s life. The victim¶s family is where the first contact is usually made, except in cases where the victim was in the company of another person who is left free in order to alert the victim¶s family or others to the kidnapping. Kidnappers use different forms of communication to reach the relatives of the victim in order to inform of the kidnapping. The kidnappers may communicate through letters, telephone calls, messengers, classified adds in newspapers, and radio communications. Letters are typed and left near the victim¶s home in order to confuse authorities concerning the kidnapper¶s whereabouts. Letters can be left in a specific (after a call is made to give directions to reach this location), furthermore letters can be left at the house or office of a relative and another is simply dropping the letter off at the house of the victim. Dropping a letter at the house of the victim sounds pathetic, but it is used by some of the smartest kidnappers who weigh the risk of using a traceable phone over the use of conventional correspondence. Telephone calls, according to Meluk, are becoming less popular as he describes: ³Day to day it is becoming less implemented by experimented groups´ (Translated from Spanish). When making a conventional phone call kidnappers usually call from public payphones to avoid call tracing. Messengers are classified as the person who was traveling with the victim at the time of the abduction. Messengers are also considered group leaders within the kidnapping organization who establish the demands when making contact with the victim¶s family.


Dip 25 When a person is kidnapped, it is very often that kidnappers will have an idea of the amount of money that the victim will be ransomed for. This amount of money is pegged to any information that they have gathered on the victim¶s economic status. According to Meluk (1998), is the finest option to solve a kidnapping. There is no doubt kidnappers will demand huge ransoms when the victim is wealthy, but they will also reduce their original ransom demand by up to 70%. In the event that a person is covered by kidnapping insurance, one must not disclose this information to anyone. This is because, by having insurance, a person would be more prone to kidnapping since a ransom payment is guaranteed by possessing ransom insurance. Before any ransom payment is made a person must seek help from authorities, despite what the kidnappers have demand, and all serial numbers in ransom money must be recorded. A plan of action must be pre-established for high profile possible victims (Fisher & Green, 2004). Making the Ransom Payment In general kidnappers prefer that payments be delivered personally by one of the victim¶s relatives. Why do they designate a family member to deliver the money? Kidnappers believe they will have more control of the situation because of the family member¶s relationship to the victim and the risk of a surprise attack and can also control the designated family member psychologically. Payment deliveries are preferably made at night time because it obviously disrupts visual contact and identification. The places of ransom payment delivery may vary. Kidnappers most often choose rural and urban areas. Some kidnappers use urban settings because it makes them more difficult when they plan to flee. Kidnappers who choose rural settings prefer wide open spaces that are dark and isolated from any type of police response. Rural settings also allow for better control of the designated family member and the odds of fleeing are much better (Meluk, 1998). 12/8/2010

Dip 26 Moreover, most kidnappers will not make contact with the designated family member at the first location, but will rather make him move many times to make sure he is not followed by police or other types of enforcement. Kidnappers will often ask for a list of family members in order to root out the best candidate to become the designated family member who will deliver the ransom payment at the designated location. Specifications of the ransom drop are made by kidnappers when it comes to the type of vehicle in which the drop will be made, if the windows on the vehicle should be tinted or not, who will drive the family member or if he must go alone. Demands are taken very seriously because kidnappers will go to great lengths to avoid police intervention. In Mexico these demands are always followed with intricate detail. There are different strategies that kidnappers employ to avoid capture. One strategy is following an array of notes that are left by kidnappers for the designated family member to follow along with the payment. Kidnappers do this again to determine whether the designee is being followed. Another tactic used by kidnappers is the hotel check-in. The designee will check into the hotel with two suitcases, one empty and the other containing the money. At the time of check-in he will abandon the money suitcase according to instructions left at the counter, usually in written form, and move up to his room where he will find another set of instruction as to how and when he will exit the hotel. A third form is delivering the money personally in an isolated area and in a different city. Other ways to receive ransom payment include debit cards that are credited with money and given to the kidnappers, abandoning the money in a completely isolated area. Negotiation is perhaps the most important factor in a kidnapping case. It becomes the difference between life and death. Despite how successful or unsuccessful a 12/8/2010

Dip 27 kidnapping event, there are always aftershocks that family members will eventually live with their entire lives. The following chapter will describe the emotional and psychological effects of a kidnapping event. Although it is not part of the kidnapping process itself, this section attempts for the reader to experience what these families go through after a kidnapping event.


Dip 28

Chapter 5: Emotional and Psychological Effects of Kidnapping
In this chapter the thesis will discuss the possible outcomes of kidnappings and get into the psychological effects that victims face during and after a kidnapping event. Moreover, psychological terms will be defined for the sake of the reader¶s comprehension.

Possible Outcomes of a Kidnapping
Protecting one¶s family is always the priority of any household member. It is not always a possibility that can be fulfilled, especially with kidnapping. Perhaps the most damaging part of a kidnapping case is the huge amounts of money requested by captors. These huge amounts of money bring a family to financial ruin, a possibility that not many families think about when they are a high profile target. For this reason many companies like Kroll Inc, Ackerman Group, Lloyds of London, and most insurance companies have begun to offer kidnapping insurance throughout the Latin American region. According to statistics in the websites of these companies, about 50% of all kidnapping insurance in the world is sold in Latin America and have Mexico, Colombia and Brazil as their top clients. You can protect your family from having to pay such huge ransoms by buying such insurance. Insurance experts say that a 1,000,000 dollar insurance policy costs about $9,000 up to $20,000 dollars depending on many factors. Like for instance, the country a person lives in and how high or low your profile is. Assuming that a family does buy insurance, in Mexico it is implied that police involvement is minimal. This is to ensure that the ransom pay goes as planned. Insurance companies¶ insurance policies include not only the amount of rescue money, but the hiring of anti-kidnapping specialist who handle the case and make sure the money is correctly delivered to the captors in order for the 12/8/2010

Dip 29 victim to be successfully returned. Making sure that families are safe is the objective of these insurance companies, who apart from charging such a cheap fee to the rich, also give them piece of mind when they are walking the streets. Obviously and unfortunately the results of having insurance are not always happy endings. There are many different possible outcomes that can result from a kidnapping scenario. Table 5.1 below, has designed to explain these possible outcomes. Table 5.1 describes 3 different final outcomes under different responses resulting in several outcomes. The chart below will help the reader better understand the many different results of kidnapping. Table 5.1 Possible Kidnapping Outcomes
Initial Situation Victim captured Victim captured Victim captured Victim captured Victim captured Victim captured Victim captured Response Ransom paid Ransom paid Ransom paid Victim escapes Other Outcomes Ransom paid Ransom not paid Ransom not paid Final Situation Victim released Victim severed Victim killed Victim lives More ransom demanded Victim killed Victim released Victim's Final Outcome Alive Critically wounded (can live or die) Dead Alive Critically wounded (can live or die) Dead Alive

It is obvious that every victim that is caught must be released or must be rid of. Assuming that under every situation of kidnapping a victim is captured; there are a number of responses from family. These responses can include paying the ransom or not paying the ransom. Other responses include a successful escape by the victim from the captor¶s hands. Escape is not always the final outcome, but victims do escape their captors from time to time. 12/8/2010

Dip 30

Psychological Effects of Kidnapping
People who are recently kidnapped can suffer from, what Meluk (1998) calls, ³survivor¶s syndrome´ which is composed of frequent headaches, recurrent nightmares, and periodic sadness. According to research, victims of kidnappings suffer from an array of psychosomatic and psychological problems. During kidnapping a victim can develop the following: phobic anxiety, obsession-compulsion disorders, depression, psychotic symptoms, psychosomatic problems, general anxiety and paranoia or hyper vigilance (Diaz del Castillo, 2001). First, Phobic anxiety are frequent fears to stimulations and situations that are not really threatening and bring great difficulty to a person¶s life on a day to day basis. Then, Obsession-Compulsion disorder causes a victim to have recurrent thoughts (somehow related to the kidnapping event) without any control whatsoever. Depression is another common mental disorder; it causes a loss of enthusiasm for life and a constant sensation of hurt and sadness. Psychotic symptoms cause a tendency in victims to retract and isolate in a world of their own. The fifth disorder is composed of psychosomatic problems which can include headaches, asthma, gastritis and other that are the result of tension or psychological problems. Finally, paranoia or hyper vigilance is another developing psychosomatic disorder that gives victims a sensation of being followed by a ³someone´ who does not exist (Diaz del Castillo, 2001). Do kidnapping victims also have the possibility of developing psychosomatic illnesses? Yes, kidnapping victims can develop psychosomatic illnesses like phobic anxiety, obsession-compulsion, and depression. Another, yet rare, psychological symptom that can develop during captivity is the uncommon ³Stockholm syndrome´ which causes the victim of kidnapping, usually the opposite sex of the kidnappers, but not 12/8/2010

Dip 31 limited to the same sex, to gather a sense of compassion for his or her captors. Most people know the syndrome as simply a victim who falls in love with the captors and will cooperate with them fully. Strangely enough it is not a false behavioral act, but a psychological disorder that develops when the victim is under captivity for a long time. The ³Stockholm Syndrome´ was a product of a bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden in 1973. After a 6 day standoff inside a bank, the bank robbers were apprehended. Soon after the hostages defended their captors, the media reasoned with the public that the hostages suffered from the Stockholm syndrome (Diaz del Castillo, 2001). The limitations to the development of this chapter is that not every issue of psychology related to kidnapping is discussed because including the vast amounts of psychology related material in this thesis remains outside the focus of the thesis itself and its contents are basic.


Dip 32

Chapter 6: Possible Government Mitigation Solutions against Kidnapping
It has been established that Mexico has a problem with kidnapping. Kidnapping takes place throughout the whole country of Mexico, with two thirds of all kidnappings happening in the central districts more precisely in Mexico City. The actual operation of kidnapping has previously been discussed. This chapter will attempt to provide possible solutions to mitigate the crime of kidnapping. It is important to mention that this chapter does not contain any preferred solutions to mitigate the kidnapping crime, but does propose changes that can be implemented by the Mexican Government in order to improve the current situation in Mexico. First, a description of corruption in the Mexican police force will be provided to suggest a possible mitigation strategy. Second, a closer look will be taken at Mexican laws; the final purpose will be to propose changes in the law in order to further aid in mitigating the kidnapping crime. Finally, an explanation will follow of why people often do not report crimes in Mexico. For the purpose of clarity and because no solution is perfect in its entirety, each solution will be followed by a rejection/limitation to that solution.

Solution 1: Elimination of Corruption
In the United States kidnapping has not been a common problem because law enforcement officials¶ potential to be corrupt is mitigated by government through the use established overseeing anti-corruption departments. In Mexico, corruption mitigation harshly or seldom exists. A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) does not exist in Mexico like it does inside the United States. The FBI, inside the U.S. has the power to investigate individuals regardless of their position in the government. It is a power that 12/8/2010

Dip 33 not many institutions within international government possess. For example, in the Mexican police force we find one anti-corruption group known as the Mars and Homer Units. The Mars and Homer Units have the responsibility of supervising all the metropolitan police force, the equivalent of state police in the United States. Although these two units supervise the entirety of the police force in Mexico they are not a separate department of the police. The Mars and Homer Units operate under the command of internal affairs, which is in turn part of the Federal District Police force which falls under the Secretariat of Public Security of the Federal District (Mexico City). A similar bureaucracy command chain like that which exists inside American institutions (i.e. FBI, CIA, and DOD). The Mars and Homer Units are the only two units investigate any corruption claims made by any citizen. Surprisingly, it is the closest entity the Mexican Government possesses to the FBI. Mexico is a federation of states much like the United States. Every state has different laws, but Mexico is governed under one constitution which all states must follow. Like the United States both have state and federal agents. The Mars and Homer units are part of the state police of Mexico City, but the Federal Government has no entity whose sole purpose is to investigate individuals, at least in the federal police force. Security reasons make it hard to disclose how many agents compose the Mars and Homer units, it is certain they are not enough to fight the corruption that grows inside the Mexican Police force. Corruption in Mexico costs the government about 52 billion dollars in losses every year. Corruption also leads to lost foreign direct investment which is lost every year, as the following explains: According to anti-corruption czar Francisco Barrio, the cost of corruption by government officials and by everyday Mexicans surpassed the amount budgeted for education by more than three percentage points -- some 9.5 percent of Mexico's GDP of $550 billion. Recent studies by the World 12/8/2010

Dip 34 Economic Forum, an international organization that works to improve worldwide economic conditions, found that the business environment such as rule of law, transparency and corruption were disincentives for foreign investment in Mexico. Corruption, which is often described as a tax, adds to the cost of doing business. The Opacity Index, a study conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, found that Mexico lost $8.5 billion in foreign direct investments in 1999 due to corruption and other suspect legal or economic practices. (Cause for Murder & Transparencia Mexicana, 2002)

In reality those 9.5 percentage points of Mexico¶s GDP are in fact about 52 billion dollars in losses every year. Mexico does have a GDP of 550 billion, but having losses of nearly 10 percentage points is detrimental to the economy. Graph 6.1 gives better clarity on the costs of corruption. Figure 6.1: Yearly Cost of Corruption in Mexico (2002)

Source: (Cause for Murder & Transparencia Mexicana, 2002)

Although the chart clearly shows corruption costs in general , it does not strictly adhere to corruption in Mexico¶s police force, but corruption within all 38 different public services that exist within Mexico. The information above serves as evidence and discovery linking corruption and the detrimental effects on the economy of Mexico. People in Mexico do not feel safe; this lack of safety also causes foreigners willing to invest their money to search for new markets elsewhere, that is, in a different country than Mexico. Therefore, a change must take place in the organization of the police force in Mexico, both state and federal. The Federal police operate within the entire country of Mexico and their mission (translated from Spanish) is the following: 12/8/2010

Dip 35 The Federal Preventive Police is established as a central element of the general strategy against organized crime and delinquency, not only to prevent federal crime and anything outside of the federal outreach, but also constituting in an institution of excellence, capable of cooperating with local police and public ministries during investigations of crimes of high social impact. (FPF, 2006) When closely looking at the issue of corruption, law enforcement officials are not the only contributors. Corruption is composed of old customs, politics, and structure within the police force, but also society. Society plays the most important role when it comes to corruption because bribes and money come from them. Corruption is perhaps the best and most well-known quality among the police force in Mexico. The following text translated from El Cotidiano, a Spanish-written Mexican magazine where author Beatriz Martinez and her article titled ³Corruption: Police and Society´; explain the relationship of corruption between police and society: The different habitual procedural forms that the different law enforcement bodies of Mexico use are not modern, legal, or close to rights. And they are many and of diverse nature the causes that can explain it. Low salaries, lack of public spirit, and a vague notion of separation between public and private interests, organizational structure based on loyalty, bad preparation, a society that participates in corruption, impunity, and a spirit of a misinterpreted law enforcement body are a few of causes that stand out. The lack of compliance of the law in Mexico is given due to the fact that the police, with much frequency, being the first transgressors of the law is a product of customs, almost a traditional way of doing things and ³imposing order´. Order in Mexico is not the result of compliance of the law, not the result of adherence to legality and obedience to authority. In this country (Mexico), few believe that authority should be respected because of its obedience to everyone¶s interests, because it regulates political, social and economic relations equitably and legally. The organization of police responds to interests that are not public or for compliance of the law. Particular and corporate interests then predominate and function in this way. It is coherent with a politic order like the one found in Mexico, where personal loyalties are much valued 12/8/2010

Dip 36 and with frequency above the law and of public interest; where friendshipism and influentialism have a decisive importance in social relations and clearly, in politics. Hence, in front of these values law always occupies a second place rather than a first. This friendshipism and influentialism occurs in the same police force: the impunity, the illegal protection that police chiefs offer their subordinates have much to do, not only with the erroneous belief of preserving the police force and its members in front of external aggressions, but also with a system of a mutual exchange of reciprocal favors. Reciprocity is, in this field of interpretation, important because it guarantees stability in the relations and allows for a marginal reproduction of the law. (Martinez, 1995)

The police force in Mexico is shaped by the society around it. The right idea is that the police force should shape society by enforcing the laws of Mexico. The article above by Martinez gives a description of why corruption exists in Mexico. An interesting point is that Martinez believes that there exist two types of corruption links in Mexico, A) Police and Corruption, and b) Society and corruption. The article above is part of A, police and corruption, the link between society and corruption is of small difference, but Martinez continues her article with that second description. Again, translated from Spanish, Martinez provides a description linking Mexico¶s society with corruption, as she describes in the following: It is often true, that with much frequency the police participate in the acts of corruption from their own initiative. But it is also true that society cannot be exculpated from responsibility, even more when in occasions it is from society¶s initiative that causes police to break the law. Even though this participation is of variable responsibility to make a realist analysis and take into account that this is another aspect of police corruption that occurs with much frequency. Ignorance of a person¶s rights, of the rules of formal proceedings related to the functions of police, is in fact, a factor that favors corruption for it to become ³customary´ and for it to substitute law. It is also true that at least a good part of society accepts the irregularities as something normal, as part of the ³system´, therefore a continual production of these individuals in the system, in other words, one learns to live under corruption and to maneuver inside of it to reduce unnecessary risks. In theory it is easy to reach a moral accord about corruption, it is easy that one condone it. However, the practice shows us that anyone may succumb under corruption: because it is more 12/8/2010

Dip 37 ³comfortable´, because acting against it with frequency causes many types of difficulties. That is why it has been assumed (in Mexico) that corruption is what composes normality«With much frequency particular people are involved in vengeances where the executioners are police officers. This also occurs when a police officer wants to abide by the laws but the particular person offers a ³setup´« Impunity, unknown by all, by which the judicial police act, is used by many particular people who will often play the role of police agents, facilitated because they wear no uniform, to commit robberies, assaults, and murders. Something that is hard enough to track because of the difficulty of distinguishing between policemen and bandits. (Martinez, 1995) Although Martinez fails to make a link between kidnapping and policemen, a good description how society fuels corruption is described. Society fuels corruption in Mexico. A fact that is undeniable due to the presented evidence above. The government of Mexico is aware of corruption in police forces, but does nothing to improve its detrimental effects. The government is well aware for the need to eradicate corruption, yet it does not seem to address the problem correctly. Evidence of corruption is everywhere in Mexican news almost every day. Mexican news websites like esmas.com, a Televisa Networks owned web news agency, never lack displaying an article on corrupt policemen and impunity against criminals. National newspapers in Mexico like, Aficion, Cronica, Nacional, and Excelsior constantly report on corruption and impunity as well. It is obvious that a solution must be found to attempt to eradicate corruption which is in turn partly responsible for the kidnapping crime. Mitigating Corruption in the Mexican Police Force A solution against police corruption will have considerable effects on the number of kidnappings, but will also allow for more economic prosperity by eliminating the costs corruption brings. To mitigate kidnapping the Federal Government of Mexico should establish a federal agency dedicated to addressing internal affairs, perhaps something similar to the FBI in the United States. This organization would then be responsible of 12/8/2010

Dip 38 upholding the law within law enforcement entities like the federal and state police in Mexico. Within this new government entity there should be no one boss dictating final decisions, but a chair of representatives with one elect leader who must in turn report directly to the president of Mexico with final decisions over different matters. There should be more of a horizontal, than a vertical chain of command, which allow very little corruption. The goal of this new entity would be to decrease corruption in Mexico¶s law enforcement. The new entity would address corruption only in law enforcement having as a second goal, responsibility and authority to investigate all other 37 public services and any government officials regardless of their rank or position. Intense investigations of government personnel would eventually lead to discontinued corruption allowing for the law to remain unbroken and applied correctly. The sole success of this new internal investigation agency would depend on how effectively it is implemented as well the quality of training, personnel, and facilities that it would house. Eventually the very first goal would be to make sure corruption does not become a factor within this new agency. Once established, through internal investigations on the Mexican Police force, this agency would eventually diminish corruption and allow for constitutional law to be applied. First, it is important to mention the logic behind the establishment of righteous law enforcement within a country before enforcing constitutional law. Laws need righteous law enforcers in order to work.

Limitations of Mitigating Corruption Eliminating corruption is not an easy task and has its drawbacks. Corruption is composed of the friendshipism and influentialism customs. These composing elements are what make corruption unique. Thus, creating an agency similar to that of the FBI in 12/8/2010

Dip 39 the United States could certainly fall under corruption itself. Concern to whether this entity would be rejected or not by all 38 public services including the National and Federal Police is uncertain. The successful implementation of this solution would be limited to the willingness of policymakers to give such a power to one single entity. Another drawback would be a possible lack of funding. Separate entities require a separate budget every year. Finally, having corruption within their border, puts Mexico in the advantage of receiving aid to combat corruption from organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and The World Bank.

Solution 2: Improvement of Anti-Kidnapping Laws
The laws in Mexico have established a fight against kidnapping. But are the laws in Mexico enough to discourage criminals against kidnapping? In the following section of this thesis the current anti-kidnapping laws established in Mexico will be described and analyzed. A description of these laws will provide better knowledge of what types of laws exists within the realm of Mexico¶s penal code and constitution. Further, suggestions will be made in order to improve these already existing laws against kidnapping. A note must be made that existing laws in Mexico are generally applied to kidnapping as a whole and not to any particular type of kidnapping and can include other types of crimes as well. Until 2001, lawmakers in Mexico have attempted to impose laws believed to be harsh, fair and attempting at the same time to deter kidnappings. In 2001, Kidnappings increased up to 500% in comparison to 2002 (Legislacion Codigo Penal Federal, 2001). Kroll Inc, one of the leading risk consultant companies in Mexico and Latin America, denounced a total of 3,000 kidnappings in 2003. Mexican authorities disagree as the following shows: ³José Luis Santiago Vasconcelos, Mexico¶s Deputy Attorney General 12/8/2010

Dip 40 for Organized Crime, denounced the Kroll statistics as ³deceiving and far from reality.´ Santiago said that 2,165 kidnappings were committed between 2000 and 2003 (Thompson, 2004).´ Not only does Santiago find the Kroll Inc.¶s findings erroneous, but also rejects Colombia as the kingpin of kidnappings. Facts and figures become cloudy and unclear when it comes to kidnapping. The only certainty is that kidnappings are not decreasing and the crime out of control in Mexico. The law in Mexico however, is clear when it comes to kidnapping. The federal penal code in Mexico specifically addresses punishment for kidnapping in articles 2, 97, 137, and 366. These articles pertain to kidnapping as a whole and dictate jail sentences for those accused of the crime. A translation from Spanish into English of articles 2, 97, 137 and 366 from the Mexican federal penal codes follows: Article 2: When three or more people agree to organize or organize to execute, in permanent or reiterated, conducts that on their behalf or along with other conducts, have as an end or result of committing any one or many of the following crimes, will be sanctioned just for such action, as members of organized delinquency: I. Terrorism, previewed in article 139, first paragraph; against the health, previewed in article 194 y 195, first paragraph; falsifying or alteration of coinage, previewed in articles 234, 236, and 237; operations with resources of illicit precedence, previewed in article 400. II. Stocking and weapons trafficking previewed in articles 83 and 84 of federal law on fire and explosives; III. Trafficking of undocumented persons previewed in article 138 of the general population laws; IV. Trafficking of Organs, previewed in articles 461 and 462 of general health laws and, V. Assault, previewed in articles 286 and 287; kidnapping, previewed in article 366; trafficking of minors, previewed in article 366, and vehicle theft, previewed in article 381 of the penal code for the federal district, federal and state or corresponding dispositions of state penal legislations«. Article 97: Federal penal code. First book. Fifth title, extinction of penal responsibility chapter IV: Recognizing innocence and pardons. When observed conduct by the sentenced person(s) reflects a high grade of social re-adaptation and his liberation does not present danger to peace and 12/8/2010

Dip 41 public security, conforming to the ruling by the federal judge of the original sentence and that the sentenced person has not been treated for treason against his country, espionage, terrorism, sabotage, genocide, health crimes, rape, intentional crime against one¶s life and kidnapping, or repetition of intentional violations, (he) can be pardoned by a federal judge. Article 137: Federal penal code. Second book. First title: violations against security of the nation, chapter 5, article 137. When during a rebellion there are crimes of homicide, theft, kidnapping, raiding, fire, and other violations, applicable laws will follow. The rebels will not be responsible of the homicides or injuries during combat, but those caused outside such combat those who command as well as the person who allows and who immediately executes these. Article: 366- Federal penal code. Second book. Twenty first titles: Illegal depravation of freedom and other guarantees. Unique Chapter. Article 366. That who deprives another from his/her liberty shall be applied with: I. From fifteen to forty years of prison and five-hundred to two thousand days of fines if the depriving of freedom has the sole purpose of: a) obtaining ransom; b) detaining a person as a hostage and threaten to deprive such of life or with harming them, in order for authorities or a relative to acts or stop acting within a certain activity, or c) causing harm or prejudice to the person being deprived of liberty or thereof. II. From twenty to forty years of prison and from four-thousand to eightthousand days of fines, if in the depriving of liberty that is referred to in the previous portion (I) the following action or actions occur under the following circumstance: a) it is executed in public way or in an unprotected place or lonely area; b) that the author is or has been part of any public security institution, or pretends to be part of such; c) that those who commit such crime operate in a group of two or more individuals; d) that it is executed with violence, or e) that the victim is younger than sixteen years of age or older than sixty years of age, or that for any other circumstance he is found, in inferior physical or mental condition when in custody of the executioner of the depriving of one¶s liberty. III. There will be applied twenty-five to fifty years of prison and fourthousand to eight-thousand days in fines, when the depriving of liberty¶s goal consists of removing a minor of sixteen years of age outside of national territory, with the sole purpose of obtaining unrighteous earnings through the sale or upon delivery of the minor. A penalty of thirty to fifty years of prison to the kidnaper or kidnappers, if the victim of the kidnapping results with any injury previewed in Article 291 to 293 of this code. In case that the kidnapped is deprived of life by his kidnapper or kidnappers, a penalty of up to sixty years in prison will be assigned. If the captured person(s) are released within the first three days that the depriving of liberty began, without any of the purposes found in segment I and III of this article and without any presented circumstance previewed in segment II, the penalty will be of two to six years prison and fifty to onehundred and fifty days fines. In any other case that the captured is 12/8/2010

Dip 42 spontaneously released, without achieving any of the purposes referred to in segments I and III of this article, the penalty of applicable prison will be from five to fifteen years and two-hundred and fifty up to five-hundred days fine. (Legislación Código Penal Federal, 2001)

The law in Mexico appears logic, clear, descriptive and conscience enough to attempt a fight against the kidnapping crime, enough to declare it a working legal law enforcing document. The federal penal code appears to cover almost every aspect of kidnapping, from crimes of rebellion, trafficking of organs, and rejection of pardons to detailed sentencing during different kidnapping events. Article 2 briefly addresses organized crime and organ trafficking. Article 97 provides exception to pardon when one is directly or indirectly involved in kidnapping. Article 137 describes kidnapping during times of rebellion. Article 366 gives explicit detail of prison terms and criteria and circumstances that determines those prison terms. Recommended Changes in the Federal Penal Code From all the articles in the federal penal code, perhaps it is article 366 that can be found as the most direct when it comes to a jail sentences for the crime of kidnapping. Article 366 contains the main body of the anti-kidnapping laws because it dictates specific sentences. Within article 366 there are 3 segments which dictate different amounts of prison times depending on the severity of the kidnapping. In general, article 366 contains the minimal prison sentence, found in segment I, of 15 years, then it dictates greater imprisonment terms as the kidnapping crime gets more violent or the victims meet a certain criteria (i.e. age). The law in Mexico ultimately serves as too lenient because it has a maximum sentence of 60 years for individuals committing the kidnapping crime (found in segment 3 of Article 366).


Dip 43 In order for the law to become deterring to kidnappers, it should become known, enforced and respected. The current situation calls for a reform in the allowable legal prison terms that criminals should serve when committing a kidnapping crime. Not only has this anti-kidnapping law in Mexico not been serving its purpose of deterring kidnappers, but policymakers have not made the substantial changes needed to reduce the increasing crime. Therefore, it must be proposed that minimal prison terms be elevated to 40 years of prison regardless of any circumstance, but less severe for accomplices of the main executioner(s) of the kidnapping crime. Then, it must be suggested that a life term without chance of parole be introduced, removing the previous maximum of 60 years. Mexican policymakers should consider adapting the death penalty into their legal system as it is the ultimate and final guarantee of a greater response towards the reduction of the kidnapping crime. When severing or harming a person the executioner of the crime should be given the maximum sentence of life. Severing the body parts of a victim should increase the penalty even further by having the executioner of the crime do community service while serving his sentence. Severing a person¶s body parts is a cause for suffering; therefore it is a form of torture. First, the basis for life imprisonment when severing a person¶s body parts is justified because the victim does not deserve the loss of such organs in the first place. Second, life imprisonment seems fair due to the fact that kidnapping operations are highly organized and planning is extensive, have a premeditated motive and inflicts damage to the victim¶s family members, be it emotionally, economically or in other ways. For, example, a family can fall into financial ruin if a highly extortive kidnapping is successful, hence economically bringing this family into financial ruin. It is evident that the penalty imposed for committing kidnapping to work as a deterrent and jail time 12/8/2010

Dip 44 must be increased in order to obtain positive results. The result of these implementations into the Mexican federal penal code should result reducing the crime rate for kidnapping. Limitations of Recommended Changes to the Mexican Federal Penal Code Attempting to implement harsher laws with increased prison terms is an exceptional solution, but enforcing such becomes a different story. Assuming jail sentences where increased, still no law will become deterring if it is not enforced. Hence, if restructuring of the Mexican Police fails, laws are not enforced, and this solution would be limited by the success of the first solution proposed in this chapter (eliminating corruption of the Mexican police force). Policymakers¶ decisions could be affected by influences of friendshipism and would deter the policymaker from making such decisions. One could view such as corruption at work. Ultimately, Mexico should focus on completely enforcing current laws before imposing new ones. On the other hand, harsher laws would become an example to society that for example, a death sentence or life imprisonment would follow after committing a kidnapping. Solution 3: Reporting the Kidnapping Crime The police are much to blame for the corruption in Mexico, but the scenario is not always true when it comes to the few honest and hard-working law enforcement agents who are not subject to corruption. Corruption brings many problems to Mexico besides economic loss. Corruption is to blame when it comes to reporting the kidnapping crime primarily because Mexican people are very much afraid to report any crime and any activity involving kidnappings, therefore thwart police efforts to prevent or stop the crime from happening. Not only is reporting the crime a source of disruption to a kidnapper¶s planned operation, but also a source of counter-intelligence against mitigating the crime. Mexican law should also look in-depth to find ways to punish people who are at times 12/8/2010

Dip 45 aware of the crime, but fail to report it, as well as rewarding them when they do. Reporting a crime is a way of fighting mitigating it. In many cases the government itself fails to enforce the law, which is certainly one of the problems in Mexico, and rather spending money for other purposes. Organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) provide monetary assistance to many countries in order for these countries to deal with problems that require funding to fix when the government cannot fund them. Money that goes into governmental activities not always makes its way to the needs of the people and so to protect people from people who are corrupt thieves who pocket this money should be monitored. Mexico unfortunately falls within the much popular and well-known corruption that exists in Latin American governments. When money is given as aid to Mexico, auditing should be performed in order to assure that the given aid is being implemented correctly and its objectives accomplished. Mexico has been the victim of corruption for many years. One can recall the presidency of Carlos Salinas de Gortari, one of the most corrupt and damage inflicting individuals in the history of Mexican presidents. President between 1988 and 1994, Salinas took control of the government, but also inspired fear on those who sought to undermine him and his presidency. He was known to use CONASUPO, which was a grain subsidiary used to reduce the import price of grains in return for the exporting of finished products, to instead traffic huge amounts of drugs. The drug operation was headed by his brother Raul Salinas because of his lower public profile, but still under Carlos Salinas¶ command. Not only does history show the level of corruption that Mexicans lived in, but also showed the huge disregard by an international community who was affected soon after Salinas left the presidency, with the Mexican 1994 Peso crisis. 12/8/2010

Dip 46 Limitations to Implementing Penalties for Reporting The Kidnapping Crime The limitation encountered by this solution is that no person will put their life on the line in order to save another given the circumstances. Often people who contain valuable information will, in one way or another, not put their life on the line when delivering important information to the police. The limitation proceeds from a reputed belief in the involvement of kidnappings by individuals in the Mexican Police force, that a possible informant directly assumes is part of kidnapping groups or ³bandas´.


Dip 47

Chapter 7: Preferred Solutions Chapter
With many kidnapping groups on the loose in Mexico, it often seems as if life is a precious commodity that those who can afford preserving life are the ones who get to keep it. In Mexico City alone there are 7 well known kidnapping groups, which according to Miguel Nila, a writer for Mexican news channel Televisa, control most of the kidnapping operations in that city (Nila, 2005). Meaning a rich and wealthy subject is able to protect himself and his loved ones, but idealizing on such fallacies is a mistake. In Mexico not only the rich suffer from the kidnapping crime, but society in general. People along every level of society, who range from poor farmers to wealthy well-known businessmen, are victim to this crime. Personal physical security is important to deter any crime, but it not always takes physical action to prevent or stop the crime. For this reason, this thesis will suggest what measures to take. Life is the most precious and valuable asset that people own; not only because it is priceless, but because it is a unique one-time asset. The loss of life cannot always be prevented, but when kidnappers seek to harm a person, that person must take every precaution and every deterring measure to prevent capture. Once a person falls into captivity, the person¶s future is uncertain and negotiation become the only alternative; assuming the captors are willing to negotiate the victim¶s life. To assume a worst case scenario, such as the loss of life, is an appropriately sound basis to better protect one¶s life. In this thesis suggestions will be made based on recommended actions that an individual should take on a daily basis as well as on a permanent basis in order to better protect himself from capture. This thesis will classify personal protection into two types: a) Soft protection measures, b) hard protection measures and, c) Post-capture protection 12/8/2010

Dip 48 measures. Then, the thesis will address each of them in order to formulate a better explanation. Finally and for the purpose of clarity, each will be followed by their unique limitations. When Mexico¶s government fails to protect its citizens, its citizens must take every measure to protect themselves. This thesis, to achieve a shorter length, will not look at every possible mitigation strategy, which is eventually a factor of limitation of this thesis itself.

Personal Physical Security: Solutions to Kidnapping:
Solution 1: Soft Protection Measures Governments, in the case of Mexico a democracy, are established to protect people, but as explored in this thesis it does not seem like a priority for Mexico¶s government today. Soft protection measures are classified as those that do not directly involve any type of physical protection, such as armed bodyguards, bulletproof vehicles or other, and in essence are in entirety an abstract set of procedures. However, the use of soft protection measures does not discard the possibility of a merging between soft protection measures and personal physical security measures (which will later be described as hard protection measures). The following are considered examples of soft protective measures: alternate daily routes, refusing unknown telephone calls, constant awareness, not making personal information public, and in overall any change in behavior that will thwart a kidnapping operation. Soft protection measures are up to some degree almost inexpensive and certainly apply to every member of society. In the field of security measures of soft protection Ochiuzzi again refers to the different types of behavior that people should perform in his Security Habits CD. A high number of kidnappings occur when victims travel back to their homes. Perhaps the only explanation is a formidable blend of facts that kidnappers collect. For instance, similar times when 12/8/2010

Dip 49 these people return to their homes, another could be the fact that victims use the same routes back home, and then lead kidnappers to directly assume that the only possible destination is a victim who is returning home. To implement mitigation strategies it is important to know where kidnapping has a higher possibility of being successful. Figure 7.1 below, shows kidnapping percentages based on the place of their execution in Mexico and up to the year 2001. Figure 7.1
Mex c : K d a
¢ ¡ ¢ ££      

gs by P ace, 2001

On he a ho e 5% 

As the chart points out, about 57% of kidnappings take place near the home or office. This is a clear indicator that a victim is more likely to get captured near their home or office rather than in any other place. Another fact is that people operate between their homes and offices on a daily basis. 15% of kidnappings happen during hotel stays and 9% in restaurants. Hotels and Restaurant have public areas like lobbies and waiting rooms which can perhaps justify the complexity of executing a kidnapping operation in 



O he

u 14%

an e

Nea ho e o off e 57%

© ¨



u ng a Ho e S a 15% 

Re au an 9%



© ¦


§  ¥  § § ¦¥ ¦

(Uribe, 2001)


Dip 50 common areas like these. Finally, 5% of kidnappings happen on a victim¶s return home, a relatively low, but significant figure. The statistics above are a result of captures from people who become victims while performing daily activities. Victims can range from the business man in his regular hotel stay, a mother who five minutes ago dropped her kids at school, or even the father who never returned home from his 6 am jog. The instances and scenarios are multiple, but the solutions are not complex and include simple steps to follow in order to prevent kidnapping. This thesis suggests the following set of soft preventive measures in order to mitigate kidnapping. Victims who are leaving their home should get used to watching through the windows, always monitoring outside activity for abnormalities. Things to watch out for are road repairs, telephone crews performing installations, and any other type of personnel that doesn¶t normally operate in the vicinity. Ochiuzzi (2003) in his Security Habits CD suggests that victims should, ³Spot people standing in the area or far away, as if waiting for somebody. Spot vehicles, cars, vans, lorries, parked nearby or at a distance with or without staff.´ Furthermore, a victim should attempt to write down license plates of any vehicles deemed to be suspicious which can be useful data in the future. Victims boarding a vehicle should always look both ways and continue to perform this watchful behavior during their daily activities. When driving in traffic and if a victim has a driver, he/she should not read anything that would distract him, but be must be watching vehicles in the proximity of theirs. Leading traffic at times is the safest way to drive around. This minimizes the possibility of being boxed in by two or more cars. In other occasions a person should try to drive behind the traffic crowd. If a victim suspects that a chase is being conducted, he 12/8/2010

Dip 51 should stop his vehicle in order to let traffic keep flowing, then he should take a different road from there. Whether returning to the home or leaving for the office a person should perform the following, ³when you leave go around the block where your working place is located, on the next day, repeat the same operation but stop at the corners, and let the traffic advance. Then you advance. On other occasions you should repeat this operation but before getting into your own house. This operation might be bothering, but after some time, it will turn out to be a very good exercise, that should be considered a habitual activity (Ochiuzzi, 2003).´ After all, in Mexico there are no second chances for victims. In case something out of the ordinary has been noticed when driving around between you home and your office habitual actions should no longer be habitual, but different. One of the most important tools that a kidnapper possesses is a victim¶s timetables and itineraries. Based on these two, a kidnapper will have a successful operation. To deter an operation a person should always perform actions differently everyday. It is safe to say that if a person is constantly being watched it is because sooner or later kidnappers will make a move. The more time that kidnappers invest in a person should be a synonym for their more important targets with higher extortive gains. A person who is poor does not have the same means of protection, but can still use these recommendations, even though poor people might not have 2 cars or 2 drivers for hire. Using a vehicle to explore if any third party is chasing is important and can also be used to a person¶s advantage by: Sending the vehicle to a person¶s home or office with a driver that shares a similar body framework as theirs. Then, the potential victim should tail him close enough to know what is happening, if the victim is resourceful, they can choose to hire a private investigator to do such work (Ochiuzzi, 2003). Any of the aforementioned actions are 12/8/2010

Dip 52 considered soft protection measures because these actions involve behavioral trends. Other soft protective measures can include briefing employees at the home and office about the potential threat. Employees should be briefed on this type of threat because they may unconsciously share a potential victim¶s personal information which is useful to kidnappers. Limitations of Soft Protection Measures: Soft protection measures are ultimately soft and will not deter a determined kidnapper. Another drawback is, for example, a poor farmer may not be able to have a driver or hire an investigator. Soft protection measures are only borderline defensive behavior techniques and do not really provide any kind of protection. Finally, soft protection measures are only behaviors as opposed to hard protection measures which can be found as a set of deterrents from which a person has a wider choice.

Solution 2: Hard Protection Measures
RFID: Internal Micro-transmitter Eventually Mexicans who are rich and resourceful do not put their faith in soft protective measures. For this reason hard protective measures exist. Hard protective kidnapping measures are those that require a physical deterrent of any type which is known or unknown to kidnappers. A few examples of hard protective kidnapping measures are the following: bullet proof vehicle, Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) (bracelet), bodyguards, silent vehicle alarm, and among others that exist today. The following section of the thesis exists only because of personal knowledge, in-depth research and technological advances. The first hard protective measure and a favorite choice today is not armed bodyguard or a heavy bullet proof vehicle. It is smaller than a coin, more powerful than a gun, but has the potential of alerting many people, it is the 12/8/2010

Dip 53 recently 2004 Food and Drug Administration¶s (FDA) approved Radio Frequency Identifiers or RFID chips. These chips can be implanted in a person in order to track their exact location. The company that manufactures them, Applied Digital Solutions, claims that their product is being used on new born infants on hospitals as well as inside the Mexican Police. Figure 7.2 below shows an illustration of the chip.

Figure 7.2: RFID Size Comparison to Pencil Top

Source: (Tack Track, 2005)

Applied Digital Solutions claims that, ³VeriChip [which is the name of their chip], by contrast, relies on implanted, tamperproof, microchip technology that provides access to a database containing pertinent information about the person. This information can save lives in medical emergencies and can facilitate security measures that would be difficult or impossible to implement using alternative security systems (Applied Digital, 2006).´ The manufacturer of these RFID tag chips claims that with the use of technology tracking a person becomes a thing of the past. The RFID chip requires a reader which accesses its memory which contains information on the person. RFID chip¶s initial use was on animals; the chip was implanted, and then used to return lost animals like dogs and cats to their respective owners.


Dip 54 Certainly implanting RFID chips on people in Mexico could save lives by the thousands on the long run. RFID Chip Limitations RFID chips are have limited functionality because the proximity to the receiver determines their function. Applied Digital Solutions claims that it can be used to save lives, but does not explicitly mention kidnapping within their website. People who have begun using it in Mexico claim that if kidnappers where to find out about a victim who carries the chip this would create torture in order for the kidnappers to get the victim to disclose the position of the chip soon-after followed with the possibility of dismemberment of the victim. Other limitations are that the chip might not be fool proof as Applied Digital Solutions claims it to be. The chip seems promising, but might fall short of what people expect. Hence, the numbers of alternatives on the market today are unlimited. External Micro-transmitter Another alternative to using RFID chips which have to be surgically implanted into a person is a well-known device providing a common function, a watch. Breitling, a world renowned watch manufacturer, offers a solution when a victim of kidnapping needs help. Their watch, Breitling Emergency, was originally created for pilots who would use it as a tracking device in case of an aerial accident. Not only does the watch conceal itself with its common use, but it does work. Breitling claims the watch can create a distress signal that can be tracked from ranges of up to 360 km in length and within an altitude of 20,000 ft. Figure 7.2 below shows Breitling¶s Emergency model 745, one of the most expensive models.


Dip 55 Figure 7.3: Breitling Watch with Micro-transmitter

Source: (Breitling: Instruments for Professionals, 2006)

Breitling claims the following, ³the Breitling Emergency Mission is an instrument watch with built-in microtransmitter broadcasting on the 121.5 MHz aircraft emergency frequency. Following a forced landing, for example, the Emergency will broadcast a signal which rescuers can home in. . . .In optimal conditions, it can easily reach more than 200 nautical miles, meaning 360 kilometers. . .(Breitling, 2005).´ Astounding as it may seem the watch is still very expensive. The affordability of the watch is a deterrent when it comes to saving lives because its price ranges from $2,600 to $30,000

External Micro-transmitter Watch Limitations The first limitation that comes to mind is the price tag on this watch. People with low economic resources do not have an option to a micro-transmitter watch. Second, even if the watch operates successfully as Breitling claims, it is the same operation that hampers with its success because you must roll out the antenna contained inside the 12/8/2010

Dip 56 watch. Rolling out an antenna would definitely attract the attention of kidnappers. The third and most logic limitation is that kidnappers will often remove all objects that the victim carries even clothing and accessories. Most kidnappers remove watches so that, when under captivity, victims lose track of time and cause their chronological disorientation. Ultimately the watch micro-transmitter is external, in comparison to the RFID tag which is internal, both have their drawbacks. Bullet Proof Vehicles Bullet proof vehicles are perhaps the most effective tool against kidnapping by providing levels of protection against almost any type of firearm. In Mexico, many companies offer this solution to mitigate the kidnapping crime. Companies like Global Armor, Armor Labs, Auto Blindajes, International Armoring Corporation, and Grupo Golan are one of the nearly 18 companies that provide bulletproof modifications to vehicles in Mexico. Among the most bulletproofed vehicles are Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and high end luxury sedans. This choice is made because when a company decides to bulletproof a car it must be evaluated on its final performance, eventually bulletproofing creates a heavier vehicle which can sometimes become less maneuverable on the road. Changes made to the vehicle can vary as Grupo Golan describes in Table 7.4, which includes the checklist of modifications done to every vehicle in their plant followed by an illustration, Figure 7.4: 1. Changes to the vehicle: 2. Self-sealing Fuel Tank 3. Integrated Armor Plating 4. Enhanced Suspension 12/8/2010

Dip 57 5. Advanced Braking System 6. Composite Security Glass 7. Ballistic Nylon Floor Panels 8. Run-flat Tires 9. Operable Power Windows 10. Monolithic Steel Dashboard 11. ealed Gel Battery 12. Ballistic Roof Panel/Sunroof Source: (Grupo Golan Company, Inc., 2006) Figure 9.4: Key Armoring Features

Source: (Grupo Golan Company, Inc., 2006)

Companies like Grupo Golan all operate with the same set of ballistics specifications by using a ballistics table. A good example is Table 7.2 which follows in the text ahead. By using similar tables companies can provide their clients with a description of what kinds of weapons the car is immune or weapons the vehicle is vulnerable against. Bulletproof vehicles are classified into 6 different levels of 12/8/2010

Dip 58 bulletproofing with each level having greater immunity to firearms than its predecessor level. For example, level 4 bulletproofing has greater resistance to firearms than level 3 bulletproofing. Bullet proofing a vehicle is often the best solution for wealthy Mexicans because the protection it gives Mexicans becomes second to none, that is, depending on the bulletproofing level. Table 9.2: Bulletproof Level with Respective Weapon Type Immunity
Ballistic chart accor in to Mexican levels an to its international equivalences 

Level in Mexico Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6

Europa prEN 1522 B1 - B2 - B3 B4 B5 B6-B7 FSG

NIJ - National Institute o Justice I - IIA IIIA n/a III IV

UL 752 Underwriters Laboratories L1 - L2 L3 - L4 L5 - L6 - L7 L8 Suplement Shotgun

Curved Glass thickness 12 - 17 mm 19 - 24 mm 30 - 36 mm 39 - 45 mm 49 - 54 mm

Gun and Caliber types Rev 38, 380 Auto, 40 S&W, 9mm 357 Magnum 4" All Level 2 + 9mm Sub, 45 Auto 357 Magnum, 44 Magnum All Level 3 + AK47 7.62X39 NAT 

All Level 4 + AR15, M16, 7.62X51 Fall, 7.62X63 NAT , 5.56X45 NAT SS109 All Level 5 + 7.62X39 AP, 7.62X51 AP

Source: (Armor Labs, 2006) The ballistic chart above shows bulletproofing on level 6, the highest level, which gives protection against all available types of firearms, often an excellent defensive measure against getting kidnapped by the unsuspecting criminal, who will usually try to shoot the driver of the vehicle only to find out that the owner of that vehicle has outsmarted him. For some, a bulletproof vehicle is their defensive weapon of choice. Not only do bulletproofed vehicles provide security against external threats, but they have paved the road for more security options. For example, installed wireless video cameras can be used to monitor the inside of the potential victim¶s vehicle and GPS tracking modules installed to track the exact location of the vehicle. Other defensive devices like tire busting nails and oil dispensers can be installed on the bottom-rear of the vehicle and can be released upon initiation of a hostile car chase. No matter how well equipped these vehicles become, limitations always exist. 12/8/2010

Dip 59 Limitations of Bulletproof Vehicles The bulletproof vehicle delivers protection and there is no doubt about it. However the price tag on these modified protection vehicles soars on the thousands. For example, a used BMW 7 series, BMW¶s biggest sedan, with 51,000 miles and level 6 bulletproof level has a cost of around $68,000 or for instance a Hummer H3, which is usually priced at $50,000 for just the car, has cost of $110,000 when armored on level 6 (Armor Labs, 2006). Most companies will ask for $80,000 up to $90,000 for level 6 armoring on an SUV. Clearly a limitation of this solution is present with the large price tag for this type of protection. Kidnapping groups today are organized and well funded so it is to no avail that they can obtain the weapons of choice to defeat these armored vehicles. Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG), for example, can be used to deliver a fatal blow to open a vehicle. Manufacturers do not claim invulnerability to heavy explosive weapons such as the RPG even though these vehicles can withstand hand grenades. Manufacturers of armored vehicles only claim invulnerability to conventional firearms such as high powered rifles and heavy machine guns. Vehicles that are bulletproofed are not designed to remain under fire, but used as an escape tool, because eventually the bulletproof material gives out. This causes the vehicle to become penetrable and opens the way for an immense threat if the vehicle becomes boxed in. Perhaps the biggest limitation becomes the moment you obtain the vehicle because kidnappers are already formulating how to capture you at some other time, except when inside the vehicle or will simply attempt to blow the vehicle open.


Dip 60 Armed Bodyguard/Trained Driver Most companies that bulletproof vehicles are aware that their vehicles alone will not prevent a kidnapping. This is the reason why in their lineup of additional services a client can find other add-ons to their bulletproof vehicle purchase. These additional services range from vehicle tracking to armed protection personnel. Mexico is a very dangerous place and as discussed above, one of the limitations of bulletproof vehicles is that kidnappers will often work their way around the victims of choice to attempt their capture at any other time, except when inside a bulletproof vehicle. Armed bodyguards allow for this limitation to become non-existent. The presence of armed bodyguards and trained drivers provides a defensive-offensive threat against kidnappers. Armed bodyguards are often well trained, wear body armor, and are usually, if not often, excellent marksmen. Going back to bulletproof vehicles, trained drivers become a useful tool if a kidnap attempt is made. Bulletproof vehicles, just like a gun, become a weapon behind the hands of trained personnel. Limitations of Armed Bodyguards/Trained Driver The kidnapper always has the advantage in almost any situation. This is due to intelligence gathering that kidnappers conduct and can lead to a kidnapper¶s knowledge and awareness of almost any counter security measure. Armed bodyguards and drivers can provide protection, but are limited because kidnapper¶s could well outnumber and outgun them in any situation. Moreover, kidnappers have the ability to chose when to attack and when not to attack. Kidnappers have a choice in how to run an operation, which they practice for through the use of the invisible technique (maneuvers) discussed


Dip 61 in the problem chapter. Because kidnappers practice the operation of a future kidnapping, bodyguards and drivers are trained for the unexpected.

Solution 3: Post-Kidnap Solutions
Purchasing Kidnap Insurance The recommended solutions so far range from changes in daily routines to microtransmitters and bulletproof vehicles. However, people in Mexico take a step further to protect themselves and assume the worst case scenario: capture. When a person is captured and negotiations take place a ransom is usually paid out to them. Wealthy families have the option to purchase kidnapping or ransom insurance. Ransom insurance provides coverage against huge amounts of ransoms that are paid out. Ransom insurance can range up to any desired quantity that a potential victim of kidnapping requests. The only problem is that, like almost every insurance plan, the price of insurance increases as the person requests a higher coverage. An underwriter¶s Kidnap and Ransom Insurance Plan can be found on Appendix A. This specific plan is from Lloyd of London, which contracts Control Risks Group as their crisis response team, offers plans for individuals and their family as well as corporations and their employees. When a person decides to purchase a kidnap and ransom insurance plan some of the services, as Appendix A shows, can include: Ransom Money, Informant Money, Crisis Management Services, Reward Money, and others monetary aids that form part to solving a kidnapping. Additionally Appendix A contains useful information on other countries and ransoms paid by this insurance company in those countries, it also contains percentages of people that have been rescued, killed and among other variables. Negotiations, which should be done by people with experience in that field is a valuable asset that insurance companies


Dip 62 offer. Insurance is perhaps the best option when it comes to an anti-kidnapping strategy as whole because when every soft and hard protective measures fail and become the ultimate guarantee that a ransom delivered to kidnappers and a victim rescued. Limitations to Purchasing Insurance Insurance is always an excellent option, but it is again not good option to people who cannot afford it, like is the case for other products explored previously (watch micro-transmitter and bulletproof vehicle to name a few). Kidnapping affects individuals across Mexico and certainly kidnapping insurance cannot be, at least with the costs a person would incur today, a common solution to the kidnapping problem. Reasoning Behind the Preferred Solutions: The Preferred solutions show different strategies a person can take to protect himself. These preferred solutions can be used from the most resourceful person to the not so fortunate and impoverished. In some instances of kidnappings families who possess the wealth and resources have the ultimate option of leaving Mexico and migrating to other countries where governments are better able to protect citizens from this type of crime. The limitations shown after every solution do not always imply that the solution does not work or that it is not the best, but rather recognizes potential weaknesses within that system of protection. In the chapter that follows (the conclusions chapter) final thoughts on the issue of kidnapping will be discussed.


Dip 63

Chapter 8: Conclusion On Extortive Kidnapping for Ransom
This thesis has exposed extortive kidnapping in Mexico by further explaining causes, operation, psychological effects, potential solution and preferred solutions of kidnapping. The Mexican government has failed to protect its citizens against an ever growing kidnapping crime. Just in the first quarter between 2001 and 2002 kidnapping witnessed a 500% increase according to Control Risks Group. Corruption in the 38 public services that exist within México already generate a total loss of 52 billion dollars in the Mexican economy. Moreover, the police force which makes part of the 38 existing public services, is often found involved in the extortive kidnappings of people. Out of the 52 billion dollars in losses, exactly how much monetary loss the police force generates is unknown. Another problem that Mexican government faces is the effects of the law on criminals. From the ever-growing kidnapping crime it is fairly obvious that Mexico surely requires new reforms in its laws. Incarceration for the crime of kidnapping only allows for a maximum of 60 years in prison. In comparison to the United States, which can give life sentences, Mexico is far from achieving a reform of this type. This thesis, under the government solutions chapter, proposes changes in the police force first and soon-after a reform in the law. The reason behind that proposal is that the Mexican government needs effective law enforcement personnel before it can enforce its laws. Mexico needs reform and the growing threat of kidnapping is evidence to this need for reform.


Dip 64 Most Mexican people are well aware of the kidnapping crime and those who are affected by the crime take different approaches to prevent it. Some people ultimately decide to leave the country as a final decision, but that decision is often limited to that person¶s wealth and desire to leave the country. Other Mexicans choose to fight against the crime and provide constant protection to their entire family. This protection can be, but is not limited to, measures proposed in the preferred solutions chapter. Wealthy families will usually deal with the problem of kidnapping by implementing hard protective measures, while on the other hand, the not so wealthy must use soft protective measures. Kidnapping is a crime that exists within the lives of Mexicans, it is a growing threat to the security of the country and it must be properly dealt with. The government must assume its role of government and protect its citizens from harm, especially those who are underprivileged, poor or non-resourceful. It is the duty of the Mexican government as a democracy to enforce an individual¶s civil rights by protecting them from any type of threat, like in the case of Mexico¶s kidnapping problem. Mexico faces an internal corruption problem that works reciprocally by affecting the economy negatively and at the same time fueling the kidnapping crime. Mexicans deserve security, peace and a functional economy.


Dip 65

Applied Digital, (2006). People. Retrieved November 11, 2006, from adsx.com Web site: http://www.adsx.com/people.html Armor Labs, (2006). International Ballistic Chart. Retrieved November 13, 2006, from ArmorLabs.com Web site: http://www.armorlabs.com/ballistic.html Beachy, D. (1996). Kidnapping in Tijuana raises alarm. Retrieved Feb. 14, 2006, from http://www.chron.com/content/chronicle/business/96/08/16/ mexico -kidnap.2-0.html. Beaudry, J (2004). Economic Indicators. Hong Kong, China: Oceanic Graphic Printing Breitling: Instruments for Professionals, (2006). Breitling Watches. Retrieved November 12, 2006, from Models Web site: http://www.breitling.com/en/models/professional/emergency/ Breve Historia del Secuestro en El Mundo, (2006). History. Retrieved October 24, 2006, from Las Voces del Secuestro Web site: http://www.lasvocesdelsecuestro.com/historia.asp Briggs, R. (2001). The kidnapping business. Retrieved Feb. 14, 2006, from http://fpc.org.uk/publications/111. Cause for Murder & Transparencia Mexicana, (2002). PBS.org. Retrieved October 17, 2006, from Corruption Chart: How Big Is Mexico's Problem? Web site: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/shows/mexico/chart.html Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). (2006, January 10). The world factbook: Mexico. Accessed on February 6, 2006 from http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/mx.html Cowen, T. (2004). The economics of Mexican kidnapping. Retrieved Feb. 14, 2006, from http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution /2004/08/the_economics_o_1.html Diaz del Castillo, A (2001). Aspectos Criminologicos del Delito del Secuestro. Bogota, Colombia: Tesis de Grado Profesional, Universidad de Bogota. Fischer, R., Green, G. (2004). Introduction to security. 7th ed. Burlington, MA: Elsevier. Giuliani ayudará a la ciudad . (October 16, 2002). Retrieved Feb. 28, 2006, from http://www.contactomagazine.com/giuliani1017.htm.


Dip 66 Gravino, Sr., G. (1999). NAFTA's influence on kidnapping and terrorism in Mexico. Retrieved Feb. 14, 2006, from http://mywebpages.comcast.net/sfa26/articles/NAFTATerrorism080899Gravino.htm. Grupo Golan Company, Inc., (2006). Armoring Specifications. Retrieved November 13, 2006, from Vehicle Armoring Web site: http://www.golangroup.com/armoringspecs.shtml Harman, D. (2004). In Mexico, kidnapping is no longer just a problem for the rich. Retrieved Feb. 14, 2006, from http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/1018/p01s03-woam.htm. Jewell, E, & Abate, F (2005). The New Oxford American Dictionary.New York: Oxford University Press.

Kidnapping. (2006). Retrieved Mar. 02, 2006, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki /Kidnapping. Legislacion Codigo Penal Federal, (2001, July 06). Legislacion Antisecuestro. Retrieved October 30, 2006, from El Secuestro Express Web site: http://www.secuestroexpress.com.ar/legislacion3.htm Macko, S. (1997). Kidnapping: A Latin American growth industry. Retrieved Feb. 14, 2006, from www.emergency.com/latnkdnp.htm. Martinez, B (1995, March). Resistencia Social. Retrieved October 30, 2006, from El Cotidiano Web site: http://www.azc.uam.mx/publicaciones/cotidiano/68/doc9.html McDermott, Jeremy (2003, June 01). Jane's Intelligence Review. Retrieved October 25, 2006, from Janes's Defense Web site: http://www8.janes.com.ezproxy.libproxy.db.erau.edu/Search/ Meluk, E (1998). El secuestro--una muerte suspendida: Su impacto psicologico. Colombia: Programa Presidencial para la Defensa de la Libertad Personal; 1st ed. Merriam Websters Online Dictionary, (2005). Retrieved October 7, 2006, from Merriam Websters Online Web site: http://www.m-w.com/info/copyright.htm

Mexico raids kidnapping ring that filmed victims in cages. (2005, July 23). Retrieved Feb. 14, 2006, from http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/200507-23-mexico-kidnapping_x.htm.


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Mondragon, S. (2004). Imparable el secuestro en mexico. Retrieved Mar. 02, 2006, from esmas.com Web site: http://www.esmas.com/noticierostelevisa/noticiero s/3694 01.html. Moran, G. (Ed.). (2003, September). Radical Groups in Mexico Today (9th ed., Vol. 14). Washington D.C.: CSIS Policy Papers. Nila, M (2005, July 25). Mapa De Las Bandas De Secuestradores En El DF. Retrieved November 1, 2006, from Es Mas Web site: http://www.esmas.com/noticierostelevisa/mexico/462767.html Ochiuzzi, L (2003). INTERCOM: Detectives Privados. Retrieved November 8, 2006, from Habitos de Seguridad Sistema Antisecuestro Web site: http://www.detectivesintercom.com.ar/secuestro/secuestro_antisecuestro.asp Poverty Mapping in Mexico, (2000). CIMMYT.org. Retrieved October 15, 2006, from Rural Poverty Mapping in Mexico Web site: http://www.cimmyt.org/gis/povertymexico/images_of_key_project_results.htm Salon Del Empresarion En Mexico, (2004). Retrieved October 12, 2006, from Galardonados Web site: http://www.salondelempresario.com/img/galardonados_ft/04_AlfredoHarp.jpg Policia Federal Preventiva, (2006, October 29). Conoce la FPF. Retrieved October 29, 2006, from Secretaria de Seguridad Publica Web site: http://www.ssp.gob.mx/application?pageid=pfp_sub_1&pbname=pfp_conoce&ro otId=98 Policia Preventiva, (2006, October 29). Secretaria de Seguridad Publica. Retrieved October 29, 2006, from Conoce La SSP Web site: http://portal.ssp.df.gob.mx/Portal/Organizacion/ Schwartz, S. K. (1998, September 14). The Ransom Of Your Chief. Retrieved Feb. 17, 2006, from http://money.cnn.com/1998/09/14/busunu/kidnap/. Shally-Jensen, M. (Ed.). (2005). Kidnapping. (70th ed., Vol. 8). Danbury, Connecticut: Scholastic Library Publishing, Inc. Tack Track, (2005). FAQ. Retrieved November 12, 2006, from Tack Trak Web site: http://www.tacktrac.com/images/rfid_and_pencil.gif The Mexican Peso Crisis Constituent Pressure and Exchange Rate Policy. (1997, December). Claremont Policy Briefs, 97-02, Retrieved October 15, 2006, from http://lowe.claremontmckenna.edu/pdf/97-02.pdf The World Bank. (2005). World Development Indicators. Washinghton, D.C.: Communications Development Incorporated. 12/8/2010

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Thompson, B (2004, June 14). Kidnappings Are Out Of Control In Mexico. Retrieved October 30, 2006, from MEXIDATA.INFO Web site: http://www.mexidata.info/id217.html Uribe, M. F. (2006). El portal del secuestro. Retrieved Feb. 28, 2006, from http://www.secuestro.freeservers.com/index.htm Uribe, M. F. (2001). El portal del secuestro. Retrieved Nov. 03, 2006, from http://www.secuestro.freeservers.com/Estadisticas%20General.htm

Whitt, J (1996, January). The Origin of Mexico's 1994 Financial Crisis. Retrieved October 15, 2006, from The Mexican Peso Crisis Web site: http://www.frbatlanta.org/filelegacydocs/J_whi811.pdf


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