Thanks to an interconnected world, tourist kidnapping rates have fallen nearly across the board. Kidnappings in Colombia specifically have dropped by order of 10, with almost 3,500 reports in 2001 to barely 200 in 2016.
This reduction in kidnappings is mainly attributable to strict government stances that protect tourists and the money they bring into the country. Any country with a sizable tourist income doesn’t want an international headline damaging their reputation. Despite these changes, some travel destinations remain at risk due to instability, especially once you leave the resort.
It would be impossible to address kidnapping without talking about Mexico. Safety levels vary dramatically between resort areas and the rest of the country, and you are in just as much danger of being kidnapped or extorted by criminal activity as you are by uniformed police officers in many areas, including Mexico City.
Despite the country and its capital both having a reputation for poverty and violent crime, its current president has gone through significant efforts to make the country appeal to tourists. However, travelers, especially US persons, are particularly at risk of abduction and interrogation by police officers in the country.
Kenya & Tanzania
Both are popular destinations for safaris, culture tourism, and breath-taking views. Unfortunately, both are also home to kidnapping and other violent crime, especially once you are away from the tour guide. Districts in Nairobi and Mombasa are particularly dangerous at night, and if you identify with the LGBT community, avoid Tanzania entirely.
Turkey (Outside Istanbul)
Turkey is precariously close to the conflicts in Syria & Iraq, and those conflicts have bled over into the rest of the country in the last few years. While Istanbul remains relatively safe, navigating farther east or south in the country carries increased risks from terrorist organizations, who have kidnapped and killed tourists in the past.