When President Obama was at the Summit of the Americas last week, he met briefly with Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. While the U.S. considers Venezuela a threat to national security, Maduro accuses the U.S. of contributing to his country’s instability.
In the past few years, Venezuela has been crippled by inflation and falling oil prices. Crime is common – and kidnapping has become so lucrative, it’s happened twice to the same family. This is one brother’s story.
“It’s called secuestro express,” he says. “Usually what they do is they’ll grab you, they’ll take you to ATMs – they’ll get as much money as they can from you. And then leave you by the side of the road a couple of hours later – usually alive.”
While living in Texas, his brother remained in Caracas, Venezuela. It was there where he was kidnapped a second time, by two young men in their mid-twenties.
“What would have been a simple robbery – probably taking no more than 20 minutes – became sort of a hostage situation and a lot more complicated,” he says.
After the incident, when he spoke to his brother, they agreed on one thing:
“If we had been born in the same circumstances as these kids, we might have been the ones holding the guns,” he says. “And that’s The Whole Truth.”
Listen to his story in the player above.
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This post was prepared with assistance by Jan Ross Piedad.