Costa Rican diplomat kidnapped in Venezuela (Lead)

April 10th, 2012 - 11:43 am ICT by IANS  

Caracas, April 10 (IANS/EFE) Venezuelan authorities confirmed Monday that they are investigating the abduction of a Costa Rican diplomat in Caracas.

Guillermo Cholele, trade attache at the Costa Rican Embassy, was kidnapped Sunday night, the Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.

The diplomat was driving in the capital’s La Urbina neighbourhood when several armed assailants intercepted him, pulled Cholele from his car and forced him into an SUV, the AG’s office said.

Two prosecutors have been designated to oversee the police investigation, the statement said.

Cholele has been in Venezuela for six years, Costa Rican Ambassador Nazareth Avendano said, declining to discuss media accounts of contacts between the kidnappers and the diplomat’s family.

The trade attache’s abduction is the latest in a series of incidents involving foreign diplomats in Venezuela.

On March 17, Venezuelan authorities arrested 12 police officers in connection with the fatal shooting of the daughter of the Chilean consul in the western city of Maracaibo, Fernando Berendique. Cops opened fire after a vehicle in which Karen Berendique was riding ran a checkpoint.

Mexican Ambassador Carlos Pujalte and his wife were abducted for a few hours Jan 30 after leaving a reception in a residential area of Caracas.

Four people are in custody in that case.

The spate of crimes against diplomats began last November, when Chilean Consul Juan Carlos Fernandez was robbed, beaten and shot in Caracas.

Police said the assailants were after Fernandez’s car and cell phone.


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