Violence in Venezuela continues to be in the news after former world boxing champion Antonio Cermeno was kidnapped and killed in his native country.
Local police chief Eliseo Guzman said they found Cermeno’s body on Tuesday on a road in the state of Miranda.
Guzman added that Cermeno and other family members, including Cermeno’s wife, were kidnapped on Monday in Caracas near the La Urbina neighborhood. While the kidnappers stopped for gas the family members got away, but Cermeno was still held captive.
Cermeno, nicknamed “El Coloso” (The Colossus), won the world title twice. He retired in 2006 with a record of 45-7. Cermeno was 44 years old.
Cermeno’s death comes just weeks after soap opera actress and former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear and her ex-husband Thomas Henry Berry were killed during a car robbery. The couples 5-year-old daughter was also in the car at the time. She survived, but suffered a wound to her leg.
This recent killing comes during a highly violent time in Venezuela, where protests against the government has former President Jimmy Carter planning a trip to the country to try and mediate between the current regime and the opposition.
According to the Associated Press, “The United Nations ranks Venezuela’s homicide rate as the fifth highest in the world.”
Many took to Twitter to mourn the passing of Cermeno.
We are sorry to hear about the death of former champion Antonio Cermeño, he was a great person. May he rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/n9SwPYWI3i
— WBA (@NewsWba) February 25, 2014
My thoughts and prayers go to family of former two-division WBA world champion Antonio Cermeño whom was kidnapped and murdered in Venezuela.
— Adam Clist Wynant (@adamclistwynant) February 26, 2014
Wow! Just learned ex-world champ Antonio Cermeno has been kidnapped & killed! Enjoyed most of his fights. Crafty gladiator. RIP Champ.
— ♕ (名) プリンシペ島 ♕ (@DennisPrincipe) February 26, 2014
Image via Hilmar Rojas Erazo, Twitter.