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Kidnappers Free Teenage AIDS Activist in Honduras

  • VOA News

FILE - Keren Dunaway Gonzalez talks to a reporter in Mexico City, Aug. 1, 2008.

FILE - Keren Dunaway Gonzalez talks to a reporter in Mexico City, Aug. 1, 2008.

Kidnappers in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, have freed a prominent teenage AIDS activist after holding her for eight hours.

Keren Dunaway Gonzalez, 18, who is HIV-positive, was undergoing tests at a hospital Wednesday.

The gunmen kidnapped Keren and her mother, Rosa Gonzalez, on Tuesday near the offices of the Llaves Foundation, which helps children with AIDS. Rosa Gonzalez was freed after a short time, but Keren was held captive.

"At around 8:20 at night, she was dropped off by a vehicle at Lomas del Carmen, in the Santa Marta neighborhood, by a vehicle. Five minutes after a call to our National Police, she asked for help and was taken home and then to a medical clinic,'' said Honduras National Police spokesman Jorge Rodriguez.

Her kidnappers apparently let her go after her mother, who is a U.N. ambassador for children with AIDS, made a televised appeal and said the family had no money.

Keren has spoken at international AIDS conferences and also runs a magazine and radio show for HIV-positive children. She has campaigned to end the stigma and discrimination toward HIV and AIDS patients and has encouraged other HIV-positive young people to speak out.

San Pedro Sula is considered the most violent city in Honduras, which for years has been ravaged by an escalation in crime made worse by Mexican drug cartels.

Some information for this report came from Reuters.