This should probably go in the sports section, but I believe this problem transcends sports.
CARACAS, Venezuela -- Officials said Thursday they have found the vehicle used by armed men who abducted Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, a case that highlights a sharp rise in kidnappings for ransom in Venezuela.
Police found the kidnappers' vehicle abandoned in a nearby town Thursday morning and were gathering evidence, Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami told reporters.
"It's a very important find," he said, vowing to rescue Ramos and capture his abductors. He said anti-kidnapping units led by "the best investigators we have" were dispatched to the area in central Carabobo state.
The 24-year-old Venezuelan player, who had just finished his rookie season, was seized from his home by kidnappers on Wednesday night.
"The abductors haven't made contact with the family or with anyone," Domingo Alvarez, vice president of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League, said in a telephone interview. "We're worried."
Ramos was taken away in an SUV by four armed men from his home in Santa Ines, spokeswoman Katherine Vilera of his Venezuelan team, the Aragua Tigers, said on her official Twitter account.
Police last year said that 618 kidnappings were reported in 2009, and the numbers have grown rapidly in recent years. In 1998, when President Hugo Chavez was elected, just 52 kidnappings were reported. Security experts say the real number of kidnappings today is much higher because many cases aren't reported to authorities.
I feel really bad about the many latin players (baseball, soccer, ect) and I am sure actors and basically anyone with money from South America, Central America and other latin areas who themselves and their family members fall victim to kidnapping. This is just another story about a baseball player that comes out almost every year now for the last few years. Kidnapping is a major business in many latin countries. I wish there can be something done to help this growing problem.