French citizen kidnapped in Venezuela

A French citizen was abducted last month in Venezuela, and France is working with local authorities to try to free him, the Foreign Ministry confirmed Wednesday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei said the victim was kidnapped in the southwestern Barinas state, and that his family had immediately informed the French embassy.

Mattei did not disclose the hostage's identity, but the man's son-in-law identified him as 60-year-old Christophe Beck. Beck and his wife moved from southwestern France to Venezuela in 1992 to raise white zebus, a type of cattle, according to Alain Haybrard, the son-in-law.

Haybrard said Beck had been taken from his home at gunpoint on Dec. 13. Other circumstances surrounding the abduction were unclear.