292 reported kidnappings in 2013.
Where you're getting kidnapped:
Rural areas like mountain roads, jungles, rivers, and plantations. Stick to the cities and you’re usually OK.
Who’s getting kidnapped:
Not nearly as many people as in years past, but mostly Colombians with the means to pay a ransom. Tourists are at risk
, as well; be vigilant when traveling the campo.
Who’s doing the kidnapping:
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a guerrilla group responsible for 30% of the 29,000 or so kidnappings over the last 40 years, denounced the practice as part of peace talks in 2012
. But some rogue factions still do it, as does the National Liberation Army (ELN).
How they're kidnapping you:
Unlike urban kidnappers in other countries, these jungle-based guerilla outfits wander the countryside, taking you with them until either the ransom is paid or they get tired of dragging you along. You won’t be tortured, and you’ll be fed, but hopefully you wore your most comfortable Rockports as you may be trekking through the jungle for months.
How to avoid It:
If you visit Colombia, go with someone from the area. That or make local friends pronto. While the cities are much safer, they’re still not immune from kidnapping, so sticking to the more reputable bars, clubs, and restaurants will ensure you get home safe.