Updated: Thursday, 27 February 2014 14:50 | By Agence France-Presse

Former Venezuelan boxing champion kidnapped and killed

Venezuelan former boxing champion Antonio Cermeno has been abducted in Caracas and killed, authorities said.


Former Venezuelan boxing champion kidnapped and killed

File photo taken on September 27, 1997 shows former Venezuelan boxing champion Antonio Cermeno (L) at an official weigh-in in Caracas - by Bertrand Parres

Cermeno was a World Boxing Association super bantamweight and featherweight champion in the late 1980s and 90s.

Cermeno, 44, was kidnapped along with his family Monday in eastern Caracas and his body was found Tuesday along a highway in the northern state Miranda.

President Nicolas Maduro sent a tweet lamenting his death.

Cermeno had been working as a trainer and took part in government programs to disarm the population in this country with rampant violent crime and promote sports as a way to keep young people away from street life.

Authorities did not say what the motive of the kidnapping might have been nor clarify what happened to the family members abducted along with him.

Civic organizations estimate an average of 65 people are killed violently each day in Venezuela, making it one of the most violent countries in Latin America.

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