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 Urbina's Mom 
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Urbina's mother rescued

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuelan police stormed a mountain camp and rescued Tigers pitcher Ugueth Urbina's mother from kidnappers Friday after five months in captivity. The raid left at least one of her abductors dead, authorities said.
Officers from a special anti-kidnapping unit rescued the 54-year-old Maura Villarreal from a remote mountainous area in the southern state of Bolivar, said Joel Rengifo, the chief officer in the division.

"It was a clean and well-planned operation," said Rengifo, who added that Villarreal was unharmed.

Urbina's mother, who had been missing since she was kidnapped from her home Sept. 1, told reporters the experience was "unexpected -- I never thought they would kidnap me."

"You can't say they treated me either well or poorly. The most hurtful thing was having to hear them saying that my son didn't love me because he didn't pay," Villarreal said.

A message seeking comment was left late Friday night with the Tigers.

Rengifo said the kidnappers had demanded $6 million in ransom, but that the family didn't pay. He said the rescue operation began early Friday and lasted eight hours in an area near the Guaniamo River, some 340 miles southwest of Caracas.

Thirty officers carried out the raid, Rengifo said. "We had to take a boat to arrive on the river by surprise."

He said Villarreal was being held at an abandoned tourist camp called "Las Nieves," or the snows. The kidnappers, after seeing the police, were mostly able to flee in heavy exchanges of gunfire, Rengifo said. One of the abductors was killed.

Weapons and explosives were found at the site.

Villarreal was kidnapped from the town of Ocumare del Tuy in the southeastern outskirts of Caracas, where her home stands out as the most expensive on the block, fringed with trees and adjacent to the family's construction supply business. Police say witnesses told them the men who came for Urbina's mother more than five months ago were wearing police uniforms.

Urbina isn't the only Major Leaguer to have been a victim of crime in Venezuela. Rangers outfielder Richard Hidalgo was shot in the left forearm during a 2002 carjacking attempt.

Crime has touched Urbina's family before. His father, Juan, died a decade ago while resisting a robbery attempt in Caracas.


Thankfully that situation is over.

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February 19th, 2005, 7:32 pm
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Good for Uggie....

8)


February 21st, 2005, 1:02 am
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I would bet it was the Twins that set this up...we are finally catching up with them and they gotta pull a stunt like this!

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February 21st, 2005, 10:34 am
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I would bet it was the Twins that set this up...we are finally catching up with them and they gotta pull a stunt like this!




ROFL


Seriously thats great news


February 22nd, 2005, 7:49 am
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