Friday, November 11, 2011
Kidnapped Venezuelan ballplayer found
Missing ballplayer Wilson Ramos was reportedly rescued two days after he was kidnapped in Venezuela.
According to the AP, Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami mentioned on state television tonight that the Washington Nationals catcher is "safe and sound." Communications Minister Andrés Izarra said via his Twitter account that Ramos was "found alive by security forces in a moutainous area of Carabobo state."
Marfa Mota, the press chief of Venezuelan team the Tigres de Arauca and "close personal friend" to Ramos, Tweeted "thanks be to God that 'el careta" is doing well." Ramos' agent, Gustavo Mercano, reportedly confirmed to The Washington Post that the athlete is "safe."
Scot Drucker, one of Ramos' teammates on the Tigres squad, Tweeted that the catcher was supposedly freed in a "SWAT type rescue." He also said that the crowd at Friday night's Tigres game was cheering "non-stop" after hearing that Ramos was found alive.
Ramos was kidnapped by several armed men outside of his residence in the city of Valencia on Wednesday. He was reportedly taken by gunpoint, forced into an SUV and whisked away by the abductors.
The Ramos incident has highlighted the increase in violent crime in Venezuela including the spike in kidnappings in recent years. According to BBC News this had led to "many accusing President Hugo Chavez's government of not doing enough to combat the problem."
Though Ramos was said to be the first Major League ballplayer to have been kidnapped, other Venezuelan athletes haven't been immune to having loved ones targeted by abductors. Two years ago the mother of Victor Zambrano was rescued in a "commando-style operation" after being kidnapped over three days. That same year the brother-in-law of Yorvit Torrealba was kidnapped and released a day later while Ugeth Urbina's mom was held in captivity for five months until she was rescued in 2005.
Video Source - Via YouTube user n24fuente0
Online Sources - ESPN.com, BBC News, Tigres de Arsgua, Twitter, ABC News, El Universal