The 20 Countries Where People Get Kidnapped The Most

The proportion of global kidnappings from Latin America has halved since 2005, but Mexico still leads the pack, according to a new report from Control Risks.

Asia and the Pacific had the most recorded kidnaps-for-ransom in 2013, up to 35% of global cases from 31% in 2012. Risks remain in Africa, especially in Nigeria where “the overwhelming majority of incidents taking place in the oil-producing Niger delta.”

“A large number of cases continued to be reported in the Middle East, fuelled by the unstable security environment created by the Syrian civil war,” according to the report. “Kidnapping-for-ransom has become a common problem in Syria and Lebanon, with Lebanon ranking sixth in Control Risks’ global top 10 in 2013.”

Here are the top 20 countries for kidnap-for-ransom in absolute terms for 2013 (as of September 30):

1. Mexico
2. India
3. Nigeria
4. Pakistan
5. Venezuela
6. Lebanon
7. Philippines
8. Afghanistan
9. Colombia
10. Iraq
11. Syria
12. Guatemala
13. Yemen
14. Libya
15. Egypt
16. Brazil
16. Kenya (tied)
18. Nepal
19. Malaysia
19. South Africa (tied)

To contextualize, Control Risks said that the number of kidnappings in the top 10 countries were in the “many thousands.” But below Iraq, it’s in the “high hundreds in all cases.” Control Risks couldn’t share any more hard numbers with us for confidentiality reasons. They also added that their numbers, unlike other metrics, “include both reported and unreported cases (in effect, cases handled by private security or by the families themselves who simply pay the randsom).”

And here’s the chart from Control Risks showing the regional breakdown of kidnappings:

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