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Kidnapping on the rise in Mexico

March 18, 2012 at 10:18 AM

MEXICO CITY, March 18 (UPI) -- Kidnappings in Mexico have jumped more than 300 percent since 2005 as gangs feel freer to commit crimes without fear of punishment, officials said.

Despite a six-year assault on drug cartels, criminals are less likely to be punished now than a few years ago, current and former Mexican government officials told The New York Times. They say the country's judicial system has been overwhelmed with an influx of violent crime cases, yet internal corruption has kept the government weak.

"Crime goes up, diminishing the likelihood of punishment, which causes crime to rise again," said Alejandro Hope, a former senior intelligence officer for Mexico. "And so we go."

Mexican research institute Cidac said in 14 of Mexico's 31 states, the chance of a crime going to trial and sentencing was less than 1 percent in 2010, the Times said Saturday.

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