Date of Submission

Winter 11-11-2017



Faculty Advisor

Perry Singleton


Kidnap, Colombia, Survival Analysis, FARC, ELN, Kidnapping

Subject Categories

International Relations | Other Economics


This paper examines the effect of victim and perpetrator characteristics on the probability of kidnapping outcomes in Colombia from 1970-2010. The data is analyzed using linear regressions and competing risks survival analysis. I find that ransom amounts had very little effect on the probability of ransom payments, indicating a highly inelastic market for the return of loved ones. Sex had a small impact on the probability of being killed in captivity and of being rescued. Childhood improved a victim's chance of rescue by 21.3%. Outcomes also varied by perpetrator group. Captives of criminal networks were 21.5% more likely to be rescued than FARC captives. Paramilitary groups were 10.6% more likely to kill captives than FARC and M-19 captives were 18.1% more likely to be rescued than FARC captives. These results can be used to better understand the decision-making process of kidnappers with an aim towards informing the tactics and policies of security forces and policymakers.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Base Secuestro Pública.xlsx (22844 kB)
Spanish (Original) Dataset

CODIFICACIÓN_CC_2013.xls (165 kB)
Spanish (Original) Codebook

Base Secuestro Pública (Public Kidnappings Data).xlsx (39227 kB)
English (Translated) Dataset

Codebook.xlsx (67 kB)
English (Translated) Codebook