Wilson Ramos is Safe!

(Photo by Keith Allison)

Does the AP Style guide allow for exclamation points in article headlines? I don’t care because this is great news! From CBS News

“Information Minister Andres Izarra initially reported the rescue via Twitter, saying Ramos was "found alive by security forces in mountainous zone.”

Izarra said it was “a rescue operation by air,” which was authorized earlier in the day by President Hugo Chavez. “Ramos free!,” said one message on Izarra’s account. State television reported that three men were arrested in the kidnapping.

Ramos’ mother celebrated, exclaiming on television: “Thanks to God!”

“Thanks to my country, to my neighbors and to my family, who were supporting us,” she said. Shortly afterward, she spoke with her son by phone and said jubilantly: “He’s fine.”

Sadly, Venezuela’s kidnapping rate is extremely high, so there are countless others without the fame that warrants aerial rescues. Hopefully Ramos’ kidnapping can have a greater meaning, with the media attention helping to galvanize efforts at curbing the disturbing trend.

Wilson Ramos Update: Confirmed to Be Alive

Both Ben Goessling and Rafael Rojas have confirmed reports from the Venezuelan authorities that Wilson Ramos is still alive, though there has been no contact from the kidnappers regarding a ransom or any other demands they may have. 

And for those that say Venezuelan-born Major Leaguers should take up permanent residence in the United States, Kevin Goldstein offers his this insight:  

“Kidnapping and baseball have crossed paths before in Venezeula. Two years ago, Yorvit Torrealba and his family paid a ransom for the return of his son. Also that year, Victor Zambrano's mother was rescued by a raid following her kidnapping, while in the biggest tragedy, the brother of Henry Blanco was kidnapped in December of 2008, with his body found the next day. He had been shot 15 times.

It’s easy for us to say that they are rich baseball players and that they should live permanently in the United States under relative safety. It’s easy for us because we are not from there. During my time in baseball, I’ve made several friends there, and the one thing I can say about them, universally, is that they love Venezuela. Many players are now permanent residents of the United States, but they are still targets for crime, as many members of their extended family remain in the country.”

It’s a frightening situation and one that I’ll continue to update as reports come in.