3 kidnapped Canadian brothers found dead in Venezuela

Three young Venezuelan-Canadian brothers who were kidnapped near their home outside Caracas, Venezuela last February have been found killed, the country's interior minister confirmed Tuesday.

Three young Venezuelan-Canadian brothers who were kidnapped near their home outside Caracas, Venezuela, in February have been found shot to death, the country's justice minister confirmed Tuesday.

Jesse Chacon said the bullet-ridden bodies of John Faddoul, 17, Kevin Faddoul, 13, and Jason Faddoul, 12, were found in Valles del Tuy, located about 30 kilometres south of the capital, Caracas.

They had apparently been killed at least two days before the bodies were discovered.

The body of the boys' driver, 30-year-old Miguel Ribas, also was found, Chacon said.

"We lament, despite the efforts that were made 24 hours a day since this started, we have not been able to prevent this abominable homicide," Chacon said.

Men posing as police officers snatched the brothers Feb. 23 when they were being driven to school from the home they shared with their parents. The family had not seen them since.

Authorities say they haven't ruled out the possibility that the kidnappers were, in fact, police officers.

The kidnappers had demanded more than $4.5 million US in ransom, officials said. But a family lawyer had recently been quoted as saying the family was unable to pay the sum.

John Faddoul, the boys' father, is a Canadian citizen who emigrated to Venezuela as a young man and married a woman in that country. His three sons, who were born in Venezuela, held dual citizenship.