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Wilson Ramos Kidnapped

November 11, 2011 by staff 

Wilson Ramos Kidnapped, The search for Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos continued Thursday, one day after the 24-year-old was kidnapped from his home in Santa Ines, just south of Valencia, Venezuela.

Progress had been reported by the Venezuelan authorities throughout the day as police confirmed that Ramos was still alive, found the vehicle used to abduct him, and developed sketches of two of the gunmen.

By 7 p.m. Thursday, though, there still had been no contact between Ramos’ family and the kidnappers.

The news of Ramos’ abduction was met with an outpouring of sorrow and concern for the well-liked, soft-spoken catcher who is coming off a strong rookie season in the major leagues. But from those who know Venezuela well, either as a native of the country or a frequent visitor, there was not a modicum of surprise.

One Venezuelan source, now living in Miami and involved in baseball, said there are companies in Venezuela that sell kidnapping insurance — and buying it only makes residents more of a target to be kidnapped. It is an epidemic of sorts in the extremely violent country. Some non-governmental agencies have speculated that there are roughly two kidnappings per day across the country, usually for potential financial gain.

Violent crime is widespread in Venezuela, which is on pace for a reported 19,000 killings this year, according to projections by the non-governmental organization Observatorio Venezolano de la Violencia. The U.S. Department of State notes the capital city of Caracas “has been cited as having one of the highest per capita homicide rates in the world.” Kidnappings, assaults and robberies also occur frequently. The State Department also details three different kinds of kidnappings that can happen to tourists to Venezuela.

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