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Venezuela: Chile envoy shot in kidnapping attempt

Venezuela: Chile envoy shot in kidnapping attempt

Chile's consul was shot and beaten during an attempted kidnapping by unidentified assailants who released the diplomatic envoy after holding him captive for several hours in Venezuela's capital, Chile's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
The diplomat, Juan Carlos Fernandez, was nabbed by kidnappers on Nov. 11 when he was leaving a hotel, the ministry announced in a statement. Fernandez's injuries were not life threatening, it said.
Chile's Foreign Ministry said Fernandez is recovering from his injuries at home after receiving medical treatment at a local hospital.
Venezuela has one of Latin America's highest murder rates, and violent crime has worsened in recent years.
As ransom kidnappings have soared, the government passed a revised law in 2009 that stiffened prison sentences for kidnapping and also allows authorities to freeze the banks accounts of victims' families to prevent them from paying ransom.
Kidnapping occurrences have soared over the last decade, according to the Venezuelan Violence Observatory, a Caracas-based academic organization that closely tracks crime statistics and trends. Kidnappings increased from 52 a year in 1998 to 618 in 2009, when the organization last compiled complete statistics.
Last week, Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was seized at gunpoint outside his family's home in the city of Valencia. The baseball player was rescued by police commandos two days later at a remote hideout in the mountains of central Carabobo state.
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Associated Press writer Eva Vergara in Santiago, Chile, contributed to this report.


Updated : 2022-05-24 08:31 GMT+08:00