Colombia kidnappings

According to government figures released May 3, a total of 317 people were kidnapped in Colombia in the first three months of 2004. That’s a decrease of 46% compared to the same period in 2003.

However, the number of successful rescue attempts is lower this year, with only 56 hostages rescued against 151 in the same period last year. The ministry of defense says 5,343 people are still being held hostage in Colombia.

And, unlike previously, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group has not been responsible for most of the incidents. This year, common criminals have been behind 26.8% of the kidnappings while the FARC claims 20.8%.

1996 was the worst year, with 286 people abducted in the first quarter.