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The business of kidnapping: journalists’ safety

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The Guardian

The Gurdian

In 1982, a British insurance broker named Doug Milne set out in search of new markets. His speciality was kidnapping and ransom insurance, known in the industry as K&R. Milne enrolled in a Spanish-language course in London, and a month later, with rudimentary skills and only one or two solid contacts on the ground, he boarded a flight to Bogotá. On his first day in the Colombian capital, Milne was walking to a meeting with a potential client when, he recalled, “a guy pulled up alongside and this chap who was walking in front of me, his head just exploded”. It was a drive-by assassination

Kidnapping and ransom insurance was created in the 1930s, but it wasn’t until the 60s that it began to really catch on, following a spate of kidnappings in Europe by groups such as Eta in Spain, the Red Army Faction in Germany and the Red Brigades in Italy. The appeal was simple: in the event of a kidnapping, the insurance would provide reimbursement for ransom payment.

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Kyle Pope@kylepope

Should people who kidnap journalists (and others) be paid a ransom? Join us next week for a @CJR discussion of @Joelcpj‘s new book, with the incomparable @janinedigi https://www.facebook.com/events/274355346565988/ … 

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