• Connect with us on Linkedin

Express Kidnappings Reportedly on the Rise in Rio, but Govt Data Questioned

Express kidnappings rose 62.5 percent in 2011 in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, according to recently released government statistics. But one research organization has implied there may be reason to doubt the reliability of the government's numbers.

Linkedin
Google +

A report by the State Secretariat of Public Security said there were 143 express kidnapping cases in 2011, up from 88 in 2010.

Extortion, overall, rose 37.2 percent. Embezzlement increased by 21.6 percent.

Despite these increases, other crime trends appear to have dropped significantly. Homicide fell 10 percent. Carjacking and muggings both dropped.

Express kidnappings, described by a State Department fact sheet as "quicknappings," are robberies in which victims are forced, often at gunpoint, to extract as much money as they can from ATMs, and then released.

InSight Crime Analysis

Overall, the Rio numbers paint a mixed picture of public security. Despite the sharp rise in quicknappings, for instance, official homicide statistics have been significantly decreasing.

However, according to a study by government research organization the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA), the Secretariat of Public Security may be using distorted data when it comes to measuring homicide statistics. This calls the validity of the other crime statistics into question.

A representative of the IPEA, economist Daniel Cerqueira, has argued that Rio de Janeiro authorities manipulated data in order to make it appear as though homicide rates were falling. Cerqueira told Terra Magazine that since Governor Sergio Cabral took office in 2007, more deaths are being classified as deaths by unknown causes, even though most of them are clearly violent. As such, the steady decline in Rio's homicide rates since 2007 could be the result of fudged numbers.

Cerqueira's argument calls into question just how Brazil authorities are classifying and measuring crime trends. Rio de Janeiro officials may be especially eager to highlight progress in public security as·the 2016 Olympic Games approach.

Linkedin
Google +

---

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We also encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, provided that it is attributed to InSight Crime in the byline, with a link to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

InSight Crime Search

The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas

InSight Crime Social

facebooktwittergooglelinkedin

Most Read

2 Divergent Views on El Salvador Gang Truce, 1 Sad Conclusion

2 Divergent Views on El Salvador Gang Truce, 1 Sad Conclusion

Two wildly divergent views of what is happening with the truce between El Salvador's two foremost gangs converge in one important way: they both paint a bleak picture for the near future of the fragile...

Read more

Uncertainty Swirls Around Mexico Vigilantes Disarmament 'Agreement'

Uncertainty Swirls Around Mexico Vigilantes Disarmament 'Agreement'

A vigilante leader in Mexico's Michoacan state has promised the groups will disarm by May 10, but details about what their agreement with the government entails are hazy, and it remains to be seen whether...

Read more

Ecuador Car Theft Rings Fuel Billion Dollar Transnational Trade

Ecuador Car Theft Rings Fuel Billion Dollar Transnational Trade

In 2013, Ecuador lost around $22 million and over 7,000 vehicles to car theft, a lucrative international trade that connects street level thieves to transnational organized crime groups.

Read more