Noticias Telemundo correspondent Daniel Garrido has been freed and is safe after his network said he was kidnapped Tuesday morning in Caracas, Venezuela, while covering the government’s detainment of a Univision news crew led by Jorge Ramos the day before.
Telemundo said Garrido was abducted at 6 AM ET near the Hotel Cayena in La Castellana, Caracas, “when a group of unidentified armed men forced him into a vehicle and covered his head with a hood. After questioning him for six hours and seizing his equipment, the kidnappers freed him without explanation and without returning his equipment,” the network said.
“After verifying Daniel’s abduction with his family, we began a search process and proceeded to denounce the case,” the statement continued. “At 10:30 am ET, the Press Workers Union of Venezuela (SNTP in Spanish) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) issued a statement via Twitter denouncing Daniel’s disappearance. At 1:20 pm ET the Noticias Telemundo team in Miami received an email by Daniel regarding his release. After contacting him directly, we confirmed that he is free and in good health.”
Garrido had been reporting the story about Ramos, who with his five-member Univision crew had been detained at the presidential palace the day before while interviewing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Ramos told reporters today Maduro didn’t like being shown photos of citizens eating out of trash cans; food shortages have been a huge problem as that country’s political and economic turmoil worsens. The crew was released after being held for two hours, though its equipment was confiscated. They were deported today.
Telemundo said Tuesday it was not the first time Garrido, who has been covering the unrest in Venezuela, had been the subject of threats of violence.
“Noticias Telemundo repudiates this type of harassment that threatens freedom of expression and human rights,” it said. “It demands that the Venezuelan government guarantees our right to inform, as well as the physical integrity of journalists operating in Venezuela, as established by international agreements and local legislation.”