Many times humans can end up exhibiting behaviors that are difficult to understand.
Without a doubt, one of the phenomena that turns out to be strange is part of what is called Lima syndrome, a disease that affects some kidnappers who develop sympathy and positive feelings towards their victims.
Characteristics of this strange syndrome
Lima syndrome is one of those incomprehensible phenomena that could easily become part of a cinematic story. This syndrome is a psychological condition that affects a kidnapper, which he may have positive and even romantic feelings towards the person to whom he is depriving his freedom. This can manifest itself in a number of ways, such as avoiding hurting yourself, giving you certain freedoms while in captivity, and even worrying about your health and well-being.
However, first of all, it should be noted that a syndrome is not necessarily a disorder, but is characterized by the presence of a number of symptoms encompassed under a label. Lima Syndrome it is far from being a psychopathology, But it can attract attention when it manifests itself.
In fact, there is little data on this subject and virtually no research has been conducted on this phenomenon, largely due to the complexity of its measurement and analysis. Logically, it is almost impossible to have a large sample of kidnappers suffering from this syndrome to be able to assess them. Lima syndrome does not happen very often, And if this happens, it is because a series of conditions are given that favor its development.
Why is this happening?
You’ve probably wondered, “What reasons can a kidnapper have for Lima syndrome?” To understand this phenomenon, you must understand the segrest life and what goes through his mind at the time of segrest. It is possible that the cases in which this condition has manifested itself, the kidnapper had no intention of harming the captive.
The kidnapper, for example, may have committed an act of kidnapping because he is in financial difficulty. Another option is for him to develop Lima syndrome because he does not agree with the abduction. In other words, he is part of a group of kidnappers who influenced his decision through the phenomenon of group pressure, although he is not entirely comfortable or wants to treat the inmate badly. It may also happen that the abductor feels physically attracted to the victim.
How does Lima syndrome manifest itself?
Whatever the reason, the truth is that the kidnapper treats the victim positively and cares to make their time in captivity as unpleasant as possible. a lot of times he acts as if he is not limiting the freedom of the other person, So the situation is part of a delirium.
Some of the behaviors that kidnappers adopt to make the victim’s stay more enjoyable are, for example, bringing well-prepared and nutritious food to the abduction or kidnapper’s room, treating their wounds and, in general, being very attentive. to their needs and even adopt behaviors that would have nothing to do with a kidnapping. the kidnapper develops affection for the victim and cares for their well-being.
What is the origin of the term
The term Lima syndrome was coined by some events in the Peruvian city of Lima. The first of these took place when the Japanese Embassy in this city was occupied in 1996 by members of a terrorist group of the so-called Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA). Hundreds of people were detained in the building. Within days, the hostages were freed one by one out of sympathy, even those considered very valuable.
There is another version of the origin of this syndrome. actually a psychiatrist from Lima was abducted by an individual. The savvy psychiatrist, familiar with Stockholm syndrome, applied his knowledge of psychology to make the kidnapper feel sorry for him and treat him well.
What is Stockholm syndrome?
Stockholm syndrome is a similar phenomenon to Lima syndrome, but it works in the opposite direction. In other words, it is not the kidnapper who feels sympathy and affection for the kidnapped, but it is the latter who feels it for his captor. According to the psychiatrist’s own version, his knowledge of the human mind allowed him to develop empathy for his captor so that he eventually set him free.
Stockholm syndrome has been studied extensively. An FBI investigation, which analyzed data on 4,700 kidnapping victims, found that in 27% of cases, this syndrome develops. According to him, there are three determining factors in its development:
- The duration of the segrest: More likely to suffer longer in captivity.
- direct contact: The kidnappers have direct contact with the kidnapped. They don’t isolate them.
- kind treatment: Kidnappers don’t hurt hostages.
According to psychologist Pascual García Senderisme: “What is surprising is that the individual who has been abducted and deprived of his liberty is on the side of the kidnapper and not of the rescuers. He seems incredible as a victim of a kidnapping may develop affection for the person who detained him, but the truth is that the kidnapped person is certainly grateful for treating him well, not for killing him. “