InSight Crime, 7/30/12
Kidnapping has long been among the crimes most worrying to Mexican society. Some organizations, such as Daniel Arizmendi’s gang, which was known for slicing the ear off of its victims, and Los Petriciolet, which was linked to the 2008 murder of the sporting-goods heir Fernando Marti, earned widespread notoriety for their crimes. Mexico’s wave of kidnappings was also the subject of the 2004 feature film “Man on Fire.”
In recent years, the domination of the specialized kidnapping gangs like those mentioned above has given way to the increasing participation by organized crime groups in abductions for ransom. A report from the Ministry of Public Security, or SSP for its initials in Spanish, released in December of 2011 estimated that 30 percent of all kidnappings in Mexico were linked to drug trafficking gangs. According to the report, the Gulf and the Zetas were responsible for 50 percent of all such kidnappings, while the while the Caballeros Templarios and the Familia Michoacana had together committed another 33 percent.