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Mexican ambassador briefly held hostage in Venezuela

BOGOTA — Mexico’s ambassador to Venezuela became the latest victim of a Caracas’ crime wave, when he was briefly kidnapped late Sunday, local media reported.

Ambassador Carlos Pujalte and his wife were driving in a BMW when they were stopped by gunmen and held for several hours before being released unharmed early Monday, according to Globovision and other media.

The Mexican embassy said its nation’s foreign office would be issuing a press release. The Venezuelan government would not confirm the news, but if it is accurate it would be the second time a diplomat has been held hostage in recent months, and comes as the government is struggling to crack down on crime.

In November, a Chilean consulate officer was briefly held hostage and escaped only after being shot in the leg. Also that month, Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was seized outside his mother’s house and held hostage for two days before authorities rescued

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