Kidnapped Costa Rican Diplomat Released in Caracas

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A diplomat at the Costa Rican Embassy in Caracas has been found safe two days after he was kidnapped by gunmen, in the latest in a rash of attacks on high-profile individuals in Venezuela.

Guillermo Cholele, trade attache at the Costa Rican Embassy in Caracas, was found with minor injuries after being released by his kidnappers on Tuesday morning. Enrique Castillo, Costa Rica’s foreign minister, said the kidnappers’ ransom demand had not been paid, according to El Nacional, while Venezuela’s Interior Minister posted on his Twitter account, “Through investigative work and political pressure we have liberated the Costa Rican diplomat.”

Cholele was abducted Sunday in front of his home in the La Urbina neighborhood of Caracas.

InSight Crime Analysis

Cholele’s kidnapping follows a series of attacks on high-profile individuals. The Mexican ambassador and his wife were held for several hours in an “express kidnapping” in Caracas in January, Chile’s consul general was abducted and shot in the city in November 2011, while Major League Baseball catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped the same month.

In March, the daughter of another Chilean diplomat was shot dead by police officers after her car drove through an unmarked security checkpoint in Maracaibo, Venezuela’s second city.

These incidents suggest that insecurity in Venezuela, which saw its most violent year on record in 2011, has reached the point where not even high-profile officials and sports stars, with access to private security, can avoid assault and abduction.

Kidnapping is a serious problem in Venezuela for more than just diplomats. More than 1,000 kidnappings for ransom were registered in 2011.

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