Venezuela releases Herald reporter

11/09/2013 10:39 AM

11/09/2013 6:32 PM

After almost 48 hours in custody, Miami Herald Andean Bureau Chief Jim Wyss was released Saturday to U.S. Embassy officials, who confirmed that the journalist was in good health and had not been mistreated.

“A sincere thanks to everyone who helped win my speedy release and to the Venezuelan authorities who made it possible,” Wyss tweeted soon after his release about 5 p.m. EST.

Aminda Marqués Gonzalez, the Herald’s executive editor, said she was looking forward to Wyss’ return home.

“Jim is safe and soon will be reunited with his loved ones,” she said. “We are grateful to everyone here and in Caracas who helped bring this matter to a close.”

Wyss was detained near the Colombian border Thursday evening while reporting on Venezuela’s sputtering economy and upcoming municipal elections. Members of the National Guard in the Andean city of San Cristóbal, Táchira, apprehended Wyss after he solicited an interview with military officials.

Venezuelan authorities said Wyss was taken into custody because he did not have permission to report in the country. Wyss said he was flown Friday evening to the detention center in Caracas, where he was visited by a U.S. Embassy official.

Wyss was in good spirits and quipped about tight living conditions in the room at the detention center he shared with eight other people.

“It’s like living in a bar with bunk beds,” he said. He also joked about a diet of ham sandwiches.

Wyss, a well-known and respected journalist, has made more than a dozen reporting trips to Venezuela over several years to cover everything from former President Hugo Chavez’s death to myriad presidential and municipal elections.

“I have deep respect for Venezuela and its people and I look forward to continuing to report from the country,” he said.

Join the Discussion

Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service