The Economist | 4/23/2009 12:00:00 AM
How many hostages?
Last year millions of Colombians took to the streets to protest against hostage-taking by left-wing guerrillas, right-wing paramilitaries and common criminals in what has long been known as “the kidnap capital of the world”.
But is kidnapping as prevalent as many Colombians fear? The official figures show that 437 people were seized last year. That is down from 2,882 in 2002. Yet bizarrely, perhaps, a new study by the government of President Álvaro Uribe claims that there may be just 125 hostages still being held for ransom, be that pecuniary or political.
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