By Andrew Rosati
CARACAS -- Jim Wyss, the Miami Herald’s Andean bureau chief, was detained by Venezuelan authorities Thursday while reporting on the country’s chronic shortages and looming municipal elections. Wyss remained in custody Friday afternoon.
According to local sources, Wyss was initially detained by the National Guard then transferred to Venezuela's Counter Military intelligence, Dirección General de Inteligencia Militar (Dgim), in San Cristóbal, Táchira.
“We are very concerned,” said Aminda Marqués González, the Herald’s executive editor. “There doesn’t seem to be any basis for his detention and we’re trying to figure out what’s going on." We are asking that Jim Wyss be released immediately.”
Herald editors have spent much of Friday talking to various Venezuelan government officials to secure his release.
Some journalists in San Cristóbal said they say Wyss in custody on Friday.
“I was able to see him and he looked alright, but they [authorities] wouldn’t let us close,” said Lorena Arráiz, a journalist at El Universal, who was investigating the incident.
"But he’s been in there over 12 hours there and he’s still stuck in custody," she said.
According to Arraiz, Wyss remains held in a Military Intelligence office in San Cristóbal .
Officials at Venezuela’s Ministry of Information (MinCi) were unable to comment as to the reason Wyss was detained.