Kidnapped Venezuelan journalist Nairobi Pinto freed after one-week

April 14, 2014 | By | Reply More

Apr 14, – A senior journalist at Venezuela’s Globovisión TV station kidnapped eight days ago has been released and is “safe and sound,” the channel confirmed to the Anadolu Agency Monday.

hromedia Kidnapped Venezuelan journalist Nairobi Pinto freed after one-week intl. news2Douglas Rico, deputy director of Venezuela’s Criminal Investigations Police, tweeted earlier Monday that Nairobi Pinto, 32, was “with police,” and officials later confirmed that she had been found in the town of Cúa, some 60 kilometers to the south of Caracas.

Pinto, who is assignment editor for the news channel, was kidnapped outside her Caracas home by masked gunmen on April 6, and the journalist’s disappearance has rarely been out of local headlines since.

Globovisión TV was long a vehement critic of the government, but was taken over in 2013 by owners with links to the ruling Socialist government and President Nicolás Maduro, local media say.

Speaking at a hastily-arranged press conference alongside the country’s Interior Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres, Pinto gave scant details of the kidnapping as the investigation was ongoing, according to the NTN24 news channel.

“It’s not easy to be here, talking to you first before my family,” Pinto said, describing her ordeal as a “nightmare” and adding her captors had been reading her news of the kidnap.

Composed but visibly exhausted, Pinto said her captors, who she identified as Venezuelan, had not mistreated her and she had been given “three meals a day.” She thanked everyone for their support.

Torres confirmed there had been ransom demands but he “did not want to speculate on reasons behind the kidnapping.” Pinto now had the protection she required, he said.

Some 2,500 police staff had been looking for the kidnapped journalist, the minister said.

A Globovisión reporter at the press conference told AA that Pinto would now rejoin her family and recuperate.

– Fresh concerns over crime-

Pinto’s family had made several impassioned pleas for her release and colleagues have held regular vigils and marches since the kidnap.

The case has reignited debate over the level of crime in the country – one of the main grievances of protesters involved in over two months of anti-government demonstrations. The protests led to violent unrest in a number of Venezuelan cities and has left at least 40 people dead.

The United Nations last week revealed that Venezuela had the second-worst murder rate in the world, although President Maduro has said that the country is tackling the issue.

Kidnappings are not uncommon in Venezuela and are usually used for extortion. Most people are released unharmed once kidnappers’ demands are met. However, some cases have ended in deaths and disappearances.

Some more high-profile cases have involved international diplomats, as well as business and sports figures.

Press journalist for HRO Media – Norberto Lluch contributed to this report.

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Category: International

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