The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas
The death of a 38-year-old man in a confrontation between criminals and police takes the number of murdered kidnap victims in Venezuela this year to 21, as kidnapping not only spreads rapidly throughout Venezuela but is also evolving.
Police in Bolivia have rescued a 13-year old child kidnapped over a drug debt, drawing attention to a crime that is likely to increase as transnational organized crime spreads and takes root in that country.
Details have emerged about how a kidnapping gang formed mostly of police operated in the Mexican tourist city of Acapulco, illustrating the central role security forces often play in Mexico's current kidnapping boom.
Mexican authorities have rescued 73 people from a house in the north of the country, further evidence of the vulnerability of migrants to kidnapping and extortion at the hands of organized crime.
Mexico saw the highest number of reported kidnappings in the first half of 2013 since at least 1997, according to a national civil society organization, a figure that reflects the increasing diversification of criminal activities in the country.
As debate continues over claims by Mexico's president that his security policies are behind a drop in violence, statistics showing rapid growth in the number of kidnappings stand as a reminder of the country's precarious security situation.
Taxi drivers on a Venezuelan island and popular tourist destination spot have demanded action over a wave of express kidnappings, a crime that has become increasingly common in Latin American cities.
Colombia's second-largest rebel army the ELN has apparently handed a hostage over to the FARC, raising the question of what the deepening alliance between the two groups could mean for the country's kidnapping trade and peace process.
Disappeared Mexicans are reportedly being enslaved in forced labor camps run by criminal groups, a scenario that could help account for the tens of thousands reported missing since 2006.