Venezuelan authorities have arrested three men in connection with the recent kidnapping of Mexico’s ambassador to Caracas and his wife, according to the government.

Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami stated that the arrests took place in the early hours of Monday morning, with one of those detained thought to be the mastermind behind the kidnapping of the Mexican ambassador, Carlos Pujalte, and his wife on 29 January, reports Spanish news agency EFE.

El Assami added that a further five people have been identified as taking part in the kidnapping and are currently being sought by Venezuelan authorities.

Pujalte and his wife were the victims of an “express kidnapping,” and were held for only four hours before being released unharmed.

InSight Crime Analysis

Though Venezuela claims to have identified and begun arresting the culprits in the Pujalte case, this is only the first step in bringing them to justice. As the US State Department notes, only a small percentage of crimes in Venezuela result in convictions.

Though Venezuelan authorities have seemingly moved fast in this high-profile case, as with the swift release of Wilson Ramos, catcher for Washington baseball team the Nationals, many less prominent kidnapping cases are neglected. As of November, over 1,000 kidnappings had been reported in 2011. Combined with the number of express kidnappings, however, the total number is believed to be far higher.

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