Strauss Center News

Updates from the Strauss Center and our affiliated distinguished scholars and fellows


Leutert and Yates Examine Women’s Involvement in Migrant Kidnappings in Mexico

Oct 13, 2021 |

Director of the Strauss Center’s Central America and Mexico Policy Initiative (CAMPI), Stephanie Leutert, and Strauss Campi Fellow, Caitlyn Yates, recently co-authored a chapter for Beyond Drugs, Smuggling and Trafficking: Violence, Victimization, and Community Action in Mexico’s Criminal Landscape. This collection of essays uses community-based research to address conceptual gaps present in Mexico’s dominant organized crime narrative. Leutert’s and Yates’ essay titled A Gender Perspective of Migrant Kidnapping in Mexico is the first exploration between migrant kidnapping and female offenders in Mexico. Drawing on qualitative and quantitative sources to analyze migrant kidnappings across Mexico, they examine the role women play in executing these operations. After compiling a dataset of 388 kidnapping cases from official and journalistic sources, they investigate the 66 cases where women were either charged with kidnapping or found to engage in kidnapping-related activities. Leutert and Yates argue that women’s participation in kidnapping, particularly along the migrant route, is critical to understanding the dynamics of this high-impact crime. See more information on the book here.