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Two Portuguese citizens, 60 and 53, from the island of Madeira, were murdered in the last 72 hours in Venezuela, Portuguese sources told the Lusa news agency.

According to sources, the merchant Manuel Perregil, 53, a native of Loreto, was murdered at 10 pm Thursday (2:30 am today in Lisbon), in Guatire, east of Caracas.

The victim, who was the owner of several commercial establishments, was intercepted by unknown armed men, who would be following him and would have opposed resistance to the kidnapping and was shot dead.

The woman, according to a close family source, was on vacation in Madeira, having been in Venezuela for 15 days.

The second victim is the Madeira flower grower Manuel Gonçalves dos Santos, 60, also murdered by strangers in the warehouse where he kept flowers in the town of Poço de Rosas, Los Teques.

The victim, a native of Calheta, and who became a member of the Los Teques Baccalaureate Academy, was found stoned.

Unofficial sources told Lusa that the two Portuguese would have been forced to pay what is locally known as a ‘vaccine’ (‘vaccine’, which represents the payment of a sum of money not to be kidnapped) to the criminals.

Social networks and the Venezuelan press have reported in recent weeks on the rise in kidnappings in the country and released videos of moments in which kidnapping attempts have occurred.

Taken from DN