Mexican ambassador in Venezuela kidnap drama

Caracas, Venezuela Wikimedia Commons

CARACAS, Venezuela - Mexico's ambassador to Venezuela was kidnapped and then freed hours later on Monday, prosecutors and diplomats said.

Four armed men seized Ambassador Carlos Pujalte and his wife as they were leaving a party shortly before midnight in the capital's Alta Florida district, according to statement from the prosecutor-general's office.

It said the kidnappers freed the couple four hours later in Las Mayas, a poor district of Caracas. Police later found the ambassador's vehicle near the site where the couple were kidnapped.

A spokesman for the Mexican Embassy, Fernando Gondinez, confirmed the kidnapping to the Venezuelan news website Noticias 24. He said that both the ambassador and his wife were in good condition.

Police and prosecutors are investigating. No arrests have been made.

Venezuela has one of Latin America's highest murder rates, and the number of kidnappings have risen in recent years.

Senior diplomats from Chile and Belarus were also seized in similar incidents last year, Al Jazeera reports.

In November, the starting catcher for baseball's Washington Nationals, Wilson Ramos, was kidnapped for two days while home playing in the winter leagues. The 24-year-old baseball player was seized at gunpoint outside his family's home in the city of Valencia land was rescued by police commandos two days later in the mountains of Carabobo state. Eight people were later charged with committing or assisting in the crime.

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