Mother of the Detroit Tigers baseball player Urbina was kidnapped by FARC leader

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Venezuela recognized that the mother of Ugueth Urbina, Maura Josefina Villareal, was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) commander Alvis Patiño, known as El Chiguiro. Urbina is a Venezuelan and a Major League Baseball right-handed closer who plays for the Detroit Tigers.

Chiguiro has been captured on February 2005. A delegation of authorities from Colombia was sent to Venezuela, so he could be identified. Now, after his identification, Colombian officers expects he can be extradicted to Colombia. In Colombia, Chiguiro is expected to be judged for the alleged crimes of kidnapping and murderer of the American missionaries Sthephen Everet and Thimoty Dike in 1995.

Some Venezuelan baseball players from the Major Leagues said that kidnapping is a new situation they must learn to live with. None of them said that the risk of kidnappings would prevent their return to Venezuela.

For years, Venezuelan cattlemen near Colombian borders say that they are victims of extorsion by FARC forces. This is the first time that the Venezuelan government recognizes that the FARC is responsible by this kind of crime in Venezuela.

According to the Colombian authorities, Chiguiro is envolved with the exchange of drugs by weapons with Brazilian traffic drug dealers.