Girish Gupta

HOME

BY COUNTRY

Brazil
Colombia
Cuba
Ecuador
Egypt
Guyana
Iraq
Jordan
Lebanon
Mexico
United Kingdom
Venezuela

BY MEDIUM

Text
Photo
Radio
TV/Video

BY PUBLISHER

Al Jazeera
BBC
BuzzFeed
CBC
Christian Science Monitor
CNN
Daily Mail
Datum
Ecologist
Economist Intelligence Unit
Emerging Markets
Financial Times
Foreign Policy
France 24
Fusion
GlobalPost
Guardian
Independent
La Prensa (Panama)
LatinFinance
Mancunion
Monocle
National (Abu Dhabi)
New Internationalist
New Statesman
New York Times
New Yorker
NPR
PBS
PRI
Radio France Internationale
Reuters
RTE
Sky News
Sun
Sunday Times
Telegraph
TIME
Times of London
USA Today
Vice
WLRN

ABOUT

About
CV
Contact (PGP Key)

Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
Mexican politician released after seven months in captivity
Dec. 21, 2010


Emerging from his Mexico City home with a bushy beard to rival that of Father Christmas, prominent politician and former presidential candidate Diego Fernández de Cevallos announced his release by kidnappers seven months after being seized at gunpoint.

Rumours of his release circulated three weeks ago as newspaper El Universal reported that his family had paid a $20m (Ł12.8m) ransom to secure the release. However, these were never substantiated and it is only Mr Fernández' emergence today (20 DEC 2010) that has confirmed he is no longer in the hands of kidnappers.

"I just want to say that I am well, thank God. I'm strong and my life will remain the same," the former presidential candidate told reporters gathered outside his home.

"I thank God and the Virgin for the help they gave me for the past seven months. I have many reasons for gratitude to many known and unknown people."

Mr Fernández, 69, disappeared in May while driving to his ranch late at night near San Clemente in the central Mexican state of Queretaro. Kidnappers issued several photos of a bare-chested and blindfolded man in the coming weeks.

Federal investigators announced shortly afterwards that no further enquiries would be taking place, fuelling speculation of a ransom deal being negotiated with the politician's family.

Neither Mr Fernández nor authorities have made any comment on any ransom paid or the possible identity of the kidnappers.

Nicknamed Jefe Diego, or Boss Diego, Mr Fernández was a major figure in President Felipe Calderón's National Action Party (PAN). He came second in the 1994 presidential election himself and played a major role in the Party’s win in 2000 over the rival Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) which held power in Mexico for over 70 years.

Charismatic and often brandishing a cigar, the politician also ran a successful law firm that represented reputed drug lords as well as some of Mexico’s biggest businesses.

Kidnapping of public officials and rich Mexicans for ransom is rife, though usually ends in the victim’s death. It is unclear who Mr Fernández’ kidnappers are. Leftist guerrillas have been blamed, rather then drug cartels.

The Mexican Attorney General, Arturo Chávez Chávez, announced last week that the number of deaths in Mexico's drug wars had reached 12,456 this year alone.

Later that same day, Marisela Escobedo Ortiz, a mother who had spent years campaigning against crime in the country following the killing of her 17-year-old daughter, was gunned down as she protested outside a government building in the northern state of Chihuahua. Her brother-in-law's body was found dumped four days later in the notorious city of Ciudad Juarez, which itself has seen more than 3,000 deaths this year alone.

Drug cartels are suspected in those killings as well as for an explosion that killed 28 people in Puebla, central Mexico, on Sunday. In an attempt to rake in extra money, cartel members are thought to have been tapping into an oil pipeline to sell on oil and gas.

At least 52 people were injured with more than 100 homes damaged in San Martin Texmelucan, Puebla. One government official described “rivers of fire” flowing through the city’s streets.




More...

No deaths in major Mexico earthquake
Mar. 21, 2012


Mexican authorities come close to capture of drug boss Chapo Guzman
Mar. 12, 2012


Joe Biden meets Latin American leaders, won't back down on legalization
Mar. 6, 2012


Mexico election: Vazquez Mota closing the gap
Mar. 2, 2012


US and Mexico Sign Gulf Oil-Drilling Deal
Feb. 24, 2012


Deadly Mexican prison riot a cover for gang escape
Feb. 21, 2012


Felipe Calderon pleads to US: 'No more weapons'
Feb. 18, 2012


Mexican Inflation Up as 4Q Results Suffer From Peso Depreciation
Feb. 10, 2012


Josefina Vázquez Mota picked for Mexico presidential candidate
Feb. 6, 2012


Carlos Slim's Companies Accused of Gross Overcharging
Feb. 3, 2012


Telecoms, Broadcast Monopolies Prospering in Mexico as Televisa's $1.6bn Iusacell Deal Is Rejected
Jan. 27, 2012


Mexico's Chapo Guzman named world's most powerful drug trafficker
Jan. 12, 2012


Mexico Looks to Broker Europe Deal
Dec. 16, 2011


Carlos Slim Streams "Television" Online, Infuriates Rival Broadcasters
Nov. 17, 2011


Mexico Reduces Growth Forecast Despite Lower Than Expected Inflation Figures
Nov. 11, 2011








© Girish Gupta