Former world champion boxer Antonio Cermeno has been kidnapped and killed amid escalating violence in Venezuela.

The retired sportsman, who two world titles in the 1990s, was abducted in Caracas on Monday (24Feb14) along with his wife and family members, and his body was found a day later (25Feb14) riddled with gunshot wounds and dumped at a roadside.

Former featherweight Cermeno's relatives are believed to have escaped unharmed.

The 44 year old's death comes amid a wave of anti-government demonstrations which have gripped the country as residents protest against high crime rates. It is also the latest high-profile killing in recent weeks after former beauty queen Monica Spear and her British husband were murdered in the country last month (Jan14).