Costa Rica diplomat kidnapped in Venezuela

2012-04-10 12:05
Caracas - Gunmen have kidnapped a Costa Rican diplomat and are holding him for ransom in the latest high-profile abduction to rock crime-plagued Venezuela during an election year, officials said on Monday.

The diplomatic community in the South American nation has been targeted in several attacks in recent months, underlining the rampant insecurity that mostly affects Venezuelans and which voters say is their biggest concern as President Hugo Chavez seeks a new six-year term.

Guillermo Cholele, a trade attaché at the Costa Rican embassy in Caracas, was seized on Sunday night as he returned to his home in La Urbina, a middle-class neighbourhood in the eastern part of the capital.

"A telephone call to the diplomat's home mentioned a ransom request and added that he was in a good state of health," Costa Rica's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Late on Monday private TV station Globovision said that, in connection with the kidnapping, security officials were searching floor-by-floor through two half-finished city towers that have been occupied by poor families for several years.

Common

Venezuelan media said the kidnappers had jumped from a green Ford Explorer and forced Cholele into their vehicle while one of them stole his gray Mini Cooper, which had diplomatic plates.

Local media said the trade attaché was 55 and had lived in Venezuela with his wife and two children for the last six years.

Murders, armed robberies and abductions are rife in Venezuela, which has huge oil wealth alongside deep poverty. Notably, so-called "express kidnappings" have become common - usually short and motivated purely by money.

There has been a worrisome surge in violence against diplomats in the country during the past year.

Mexico's ambassador and his wife were briefly kidnapped in January, and last year a consul from Chile was shot and beaten during an abduction in Caracas that lasted several hours.

A diplomat from Belarus was also kidnapped in 2011. In March, the teenage daughter of another Chilean diplomat was shot dead by police after the car she was in failed to stop at a roadblock in the western city of Maracaibo.

Venezuela's opposition, which hopes to topple Chavez at the October 7 election and end his 13 years in power, says his government only shows any urgency in its fight against crime when foreign or high-profile victims are involved.

Seeking to counter that impression, last week the government launched two new organisations to combat crime.

Read more on:    venezuela
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 06:22 AM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    DELAYS between the R300 Highway and the Satellite Station
  • Wednesday Langa - 06:21 AM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    DELAYS between Duinefontein Road and the Bhuga Avenue exit
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 2 White 16GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core...

From R4300.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.