Brazil: A Growth Industry

A Growth Industry

In a period of strict economic austerity, gangs of kidnapers are bidding to become Brazil's richest citizens. More than two dozen people, mostly businessmen, have been abducted and held for ransom in Rio de Janeiro so far this year. Last week brought the third in six days.

Police say the perpetrators are organized criminals who find kidnaping easier and more profitable than robbing banks or dealing drugs. Last month a prominent Rio citizen, Roberto Medina, was released after 15 days, when his family paid at least $2.5 million.

The wave of kidnaping is spreading to other cities and even towns like...

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