Latin America & Caribbean

Venezuelan Globovision editor Nairobi Pinto kidnapped

Venezuelan journalist Nairobi Pinto Image copyright AP
Image caption Ms Pinto's father said the journalist was seized at gunpoint when she arrived at home in Caracas

The assignment editor of the Venezuelan TV news network Globovision has been kidnapped, according to her father.

Nairobi Pinto was seized by two masked gunmen at her home in the capital Caracas, her father Luis said.

He asked the kidnappers to "see sense" and release his daughter.

Kidnappings, especially for ransom, are not uncommon in Venezuela, and a number of diplomats, as well as businessmen and athletes, have been abducted over the past years.

While the majority of those kidnapped for ransom are released hours or days after they were taken, some kidnap victims have been killed or died from injuries sustained during their ordeal.

String of abductions

In February, former Venezuelan boxing world champion Antonio Cermeno was killed after being kidnapped in Caracas.

His body was discovered with gunshot wounds on a roadside in the state of Miranda.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Ms Pinto's kidnapping came amid continuing protests against, among other things, crime and insecurity

In 2012, the trade attache at the Costa Rican embassy in Caracas was abducted and later released. It is not clear if a ransom demand was met.

Also in 2012, the Mexican ambassador Carlos Pujalte and his wife were briefly kidnapped in Caracas before being released.

And in 2011, the Chilean consul in Caracas was abducted, beaten and shot in the leg before being released.

In the same year, baseball player Wilson Ramos, who plays for the Washington Nationals in the US, was also kidnapped from his family home in the city of Valencia before being rescued by the security forces.

Venezuela has one of the highest crime rates in the region. According to official figures, more than 11,000 people were killed in 2013, down from 16,000 in 2012.

But the non-governmental organisation Venezuelan Violence Observatory says the number of victims is closer to 25,000 for 2013.

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