The kidnappers holding former presidential candidate Diego Fernandez de Cevallos contacted his family last weekend but have not said how much ransom they want, the Mexico City daily Reforma reported Thursday.
Fernandez de Cevallos’s family has information that the former National Action Party, or PAN, presidential candidate “is alive and is confident that he will be released soon,” the newspaper said, citing sources close to the case.
The sources said “the kidnapping was done for purely economic reasons ... and for now it is not believed that there is a political or other motive,” Reforma said.
Fernandez de Cevallos disappeared on May 14 from his La Cabaña ranch near San Clemente, a town in the central state of Queretaro.
The politician’s vehicle was found a day later in the ranch’s garage.
The case was initially handled by the Queretaro Attorney General’s Office, with support from the federal AG’s office.
The federal AG’s office, however, said last Saturday it was suspending the Fernandez de Cevallos investigation in accordance with the wishes of the politician’s family.
The AG’s office said in a short statement that it wanted to comply with “the wishes of the family” of Fernandez de Cevallos, a leading member of the ruling PAN and the party’s presidential candidate in the 1994 elections.
Fernandez de Cevallos’s relatives issued a brief statement last Friday in which they insisted that authorities “stay out of this process” to favor “negotiations, prioritizing the life and safety” of the former candidate.
The statement was signed by Diego Fernandez de Cevallos Gutierrez, son of the former presidential candidate.
Officials have issued no further statements on the case since last weekend.
A photograph of a shirtless, blindfolded man with a white beard who closely resembles the 69-year-old politician appeared a week ago on social-networking sites.
Media and officials are divided over the photograph’s authenticity.
Fernandez de Cevallos, who also served as a senator and lower-house lawmaker, runs a successful law firm.