Elyssa Pachico of InSight Crime has a post up on how kidnappings have dropped 42% in Guatemala in the last three years. Obviously, that's one way of looking at it. The other way is that GAM reported nine fewer kidnappings in 2011 compared to 2010. The PNC, on the other hand, reported an increase of three kidnappings over the same time period. Therefore, after a sharp decrease from 2008 to 2010, kidnappings remained flat last year more or less. I'd highlight both issues, a drop from 2008 and little change from 2010 to 2011) instead of just the three year drop.
I hope that kidnappings are down because of "the increased number of cases being brought to trial instead of languishing in the court system." However, I wouldn't be surprised if the decline was related more to criminals increasingly relying upon extortion. There's a quicker payoff in extortion and they don't necessarily involve as much organization. That's at least what I wrote in July 2010.
The PNC reported 1,787 extortion attempts in 2008, 4,912 in 2009, and 4,218 in 2010. I don't have 2011's numbers but as of late last year, Guatemala was on pace for about 4,000.