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Reporters Without Borders is very worried about TV journalist Nairobi Pinto, who has been missing since 6 April, when her sister saw two masked individuals kidnap her outside her home on the outskirts of Caracas.
Pinto works for the TV news channel Globovisión as director of all its regional news bureaux. Her kidnappers have not contacted her family at any time since her abduction.
"Journalists are on the front line at this particularly sensitive time in Venezuela, the victims of both police harassment and popular anger," said Camille Soulier, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Americas desk.
"We urge the authorities to shed light on this abduction without delay, and at the same time not to immediately rule out the possibility that it is linked to Pinto's work as a journalist."
Commenting yesterday on her abduction, interior and justice minister Miguel Rodríguez said he thought members of opposition parties might have been responsible.
But several news media have suggested that it might be linked to the political militancy of one of her close relatives, who is an active member of an opposition party. Nonetheless, those investigating her abduction say they have not as yet identified a motive.
Venezuela is ranked 116th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.<br/>