Colombia: October 4, 2000


Kidnapping continues to be a major problem. So far this year, over 1800 people have been kidnapped. Some 70 percent were taken by leftist rebels, three percent by right wing groups and the rest by criminal gangs. Shopkeepers and cattle farmers are the most common victims. Some ten percent of the victims were freed by the army, another six percent were freed by the police and 36 percent were freed (usually after paying ransom) by their captors. Some 35 percent remain captives. About 200 of the victims are children, of 98 have been rescued, 51 remain captives and four were killed by their captors. Kidnappings continues to grow over previous years. 


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