Affluent Mexicans worried by soaring kidnapping rates are spending thousands of dollars to implant tiny transmitters under their skin so satellites can help find them even when stuffed in the boot of a car.
Kidnapping jumped almost 40% between 2004 and 2007 in Mexico, according to official statistics. Mexico ranks with conflict zones like Iraq and Colombia as one of the worst countries for abductions. The recent kidnapping and murder of Fernando Marti, 14, the son of a well-known businessman, sparked an outcry in a country already hardened to crime.
More people, including a growing number of middle-class Mexicans, are seeking to have a microchip implanted under their skin by Xega, a Mexican security firm whose sales jumped 13% this year. The company claims to have more than 2,000 clients.
Detractors say that the chip is little more than a gimmick that serves no real security purpose. The company injects the crystal-encased chip, the size and shape of a grain of rice, into clients' bodies with a syringe.A transmitter in the chip communicates with a larger GPS-enabled device carried by the client.
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