CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) _ Venezuelan authorities found the bullet-ridden bodies of three Canadian brothers kidnapped more than a month ago in the South American country, the justice minister said.

The bodies of John Faddoul, 17; Kevin Faddoul, 13; and Jason Faddoul, 12, were found near an electrical tower about 30 miles west of Caracas, Justice Minister Jesse Chacon said Tuesday.

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

Police have said the three were abducted Feb. 23 when unidentified men posing as police stopped a car that was taking them to school in Caracas. Officials say the kidnappers had demanded more than $4.5 million in ransom.

John Faddoul, the children's father, is a Canadian businessman who has been living in the country for more than 20 years.