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Mexico: New Anti-Kidnapping Law Promulgated

(Dec. 8, 2010) The General Law to Prevent and Punish Crimes of Kidnapping was officially published in Mexico's federal gazette on November 30, 2010, and it will come into force 90 days after that date. The Law stipulates severe penalties for violation of its provisions.

For instance, it establishes a prison term of 20 to 40 years for anyone convicted of holding another person as a hostage. The prison term will be from 25 to 45 years if the deprivation of liberty occurs with violence against the victims and will be 25 to 50 years if the kidnappers belong to institutions of public safety. If the victim is deprived of life, the prison term will be from 40 to 70 years.

In addition to the prison terms, the Law provides stiff fines for the commission of each offense. (Ley General para Prevenir y Sancionar los Delitos en Materia de Secuestro, Reglamentaria de la Fracción XXI del Artículo 73 de la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, DIARIO OFICIAL DE LA FEDERACIÓN (Nov. 30, 2010), (click on the Decree issuing the law, under the heading Secretaria de Governacion).)