Mexican politician released in Mexico: Report

Diego Fernandez de Cevallos, a prominent former Mexican presidential candidate, has been released by his kidnappers after more than six months in captivity, the newspaper El Universal reported Saturday.

Last Updated: Nov 27, 2010, 21:40 PM IST

Mexico: Diego Fernandez de Cevallos, a prominent former Mexican presidential candidate, has been released by his kidnappers after more than six months in captivity, the newspaper El Universal reported Saturday.

Fernandez, 69, a member of President Felipe Calderon`s National Action Party (PAN), was freed Friday night, the paper said, quoting members of his family. It said the family paid a ransom of around $20 million.

But another paper, Milenio, said the report was wrong, citing reliable sources but not giving any details.

Officials at the Attorney General`s office and the PAN headquarters in Mexico City were not available to comment.

Despite violence between drug cartels and security forces that has killed some 31,000 people in Mexico in the last four years, the identity of Fernandez`s captors remains unclear. Kidnapping of executives, public officials and ordinary citizens for ransom is rife.

"Everything is fine. He is OK and everything came out well," El Universal quoted a member of Fernandez`s family as saying.

A cigar-chomping lawyer known for his outspoken personality, Fernandez was abducted in central Mexico in May as he arrived at his ranch late at night. His car was found with some of his belongings inside and blood on a pair of scissors thrown on the ground nearby.

In the following months, his captors released photos of a blindfolded, bearded man who greatly resembled Fernandez in an apparent move to put pressure the politician`s family to pay for his release.

Bureau Report