Journalist kidnapped from RNW partner station

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Venezuelan journalist Carlos Sánchez from Radio Fe y Alegría in Maracaibo was recently kidnapped at gunpoint. The station is one of Radio Netherlands Worldwide’s three thousand affiliates across the globe.

Sánchez said he was threatened by four unknown men and forced into a car. The men warned him that he and his family would be in danger if he continued with journalistic investigations into certain topics. The men also threatened Sánchez's colleagues. After being held for one hour, he was released unharmed.

A day before the kidnapping, other journalists were also the targets of aggression. When a group of journalists emerged from the enterance of public television station Vive TV, they were shot at by unknown assailants. One person was injured in the incident. Management at Vive TV suggested the attack was in response to a series of reports the station produced on oil smuggling.

The Venezuelan city of Maracaibo is located along the border of Columbia. The impact of Columbian internal conflict between guerrilla rebels and the government is evident there, particularly in the increase in homicides, kidnappings, extortion and general violence.

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