Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Diego Fernandez de Cevallos Released

Monday, December 20, 2010 |

Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — A former Mexican presidential candidate was freed Monday more than seven months after his kidnapping, telling reporters outside his Mexico City home that he is well and forgives his captors.
Diego Fernandez de Cevallos, a top Mexican political power broker who ran unsuccessfully for president in 1994, gave no details about his abductors in what was the highest-profile and most brazen kidnapping in Mexico's recent history.

"As far as the kidnappers are concerned, as a man of faith I have forgiven (them)," he said, looking fit as he stood in a gray sweat shirt and pants outside his luxurious Mexico City home. "As a citizen, I think that the authorities have some work to do."

In a statement, President Felipe Calderon said he talked by telephone with Fernandez de Cevallos, 69, a leading member of Calderon's conservative National Action Party, expressing his joy at the release of his friend and promising to use the full force of the law to bring the kidnappers to justice.

The national party, known as PAN, issued a statement calling the seven-month kidnapping "a period of anguish and worry," and urging the government to investigate and punish those responsible "with the ultimate consequences."

Fernandez de Cevallos had been missing since May, when his vehicle was found near his ranch in the central state of Queretaro.

Photos purportedly released by kidnappers over the summer showed him gaunt, blindfolded and shirtless, raising fears about his condition. But the cigar-chomping politician appeared fit and feisty Monday, his signature beard longer and whiter than in the past.

After he spoke to reporters, he was greeted by a woman in the garage who hugged him and handed him a bouquet of roses. He later drove away in his own car.

Fernandez de Cevallos' abduction caught the country by surprise: Kidnappers are known to target the rich and powerful, but seldom power brokers of his level. Local news media reported in October that the family paid more than $20 million in ransom, though the family never confirmed that.

His imminent release was first announced by a previously unknown leftist group in statements posted on a blog Friday. Rebel groups kidnapped Mexican politicians and businessmen in the 1970s, both to get operating money and make a political point.

The statements by the Network for Global Transformation described Fernandez de Cevallos as a "corrupt, arrogant" influence-broker and said his kidnapping was "a blow against the plutocracy" and "an act of reparation."

In his brief comments to reporters, however, the politician did not identify his captors or their motives. Nor did he comment on whether any ransom had been paid.

"First I have to tell you that I thank God and the virgin for the help they gave me minute by minute during the past seven months," he said. "I'm strong and my life will continue the same."

There is little evidence that any of Mexico's tiny, splintered rebel groups could have pulled off the kidnapping, said Ruben Aguilar, who was a spokesman for leftist rebels in El Salvador before taking the same role with Mexico's conservative former president, Vicente Fox.

"This is clearly the work of a group of professionals, who knew how to negotiate, take things to the limit, deal with seven months of tension," Aguilar said. "I really don't see any serious indications that it was any leftist group ... they are small, fractured groups without any real operational capacity."

Known as "El Jefe Diego," or "Diego the Boss," the lawyer with the stentorian voice and trademark cigar emerged from relative obscurity during Mexico's first televised debate by presidential candidates in 1994, when he struck a chord with the middle class with calls to topple the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which had held power since 1929.

He finished second to PRI candidate Ernesto Zedillo that year, but his party finally won the presidency six years later when Fox was elected.

Fernandez de Cevallos' car was found with some belongings in it the morning of May 15. A night watchman told police he was supposed to have arrived at his ranch in the town of Pedro Escobedo the night before and never made it.

Five days later, photos of a blindfolded, grim-faced, bare-chested man resembling Fernandez de Cevallos appeared on Twitter. Two days after that, his family released a statement to the news media asking authorities to "stay out of this process in order to help the negotiation."

The Attorney General's Office said it had complied with that request, had not become involved in the case and would not comment on his release.

But the hands-off attitude may actually reflect well on Calderon's administration – even though abductors were able to snatch one of his party's leading lights.

"The fact that Diego has been released alive is going to be seen by the public as a success for the government," Aguilar said, "even though it appears that the government did nothing actively" to gain his release.

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40 Borderland Beat Comments:

Buela said...

Love this photo!


This is awesome, honestly last week I was sure he was dead. Looking pretty good and just in time for Christmas sporting his Santa beard.

Kudos to Diego that one of the first things he declared was his forgiveness towards his captors. I also agree the gov should not be hailed as heroes they did little that I am aware of.

Anonymous said...

F@#$ this dude, how much money did he make defending narcos?

Anonymous said...

Buela....Are you crazy..This is one guy they can kill...he is nothing but a corrupt SOB and three things to add One the government did nothing bz at the request of the family members and two his kidnapping was more political then tied with organized crime. Its believe to be the works of some some guerrilla group...who knows...and three no one really cared for this guy...and I mean ask any ordinary Mexican and they will tell you this is one guy they can keep hostage. No lie.

Anonymous said...

I wonder which cartel was holding him. They say it's a well know organization.

Anonymous said...

I am glad he is alive.

Matanzas said...

Los ex misteriosos desaparecedores. Who are they? V for Vendetta kind of organization? Could be fun bringing some chaos in the good ol'boys club.
Let's see.

Lutticres said...

santa clous is coming to town , im gladd he is ok , poor old man, most likely a cartel had him , the sinaloa or one of them who knows , , i know i lot of mexicans dont like him but , he is a human being , and im sure it was not easy , take care viejo

''lito 'brito said...

maybe a little favor to PAN for a little favor done in michoacan...

Anonymous said...

@December 20, 2010 10:09 PM
WTF is that suppose to mean...that doesn't even make any sense, could you explain??... Are you crying again about los Zetas again??? freakin pathetic hahaha....

Anonymous said...

@brito
So you think the pan did michoacan a favor by killing their "god". And they then decided to release Diego? You gotta be kidding.

Anonymous said...

I hate to think what the organization can do with an extra $20 million in their pockets this Christmas.

Capo said...

I think what he is saying is that they did the Federacion a favor by disrupting the emerging Familia Cartel. Now it looks like it will crumble, so it brings more revenue and power to El Chapo. Better deal brokering with a stable Narco Power.

Buela said...

SOrry folks...I understand where you are coming from about Diego, but honestly he is a broken man, or appears to be and just maybe he experienced a divine epiphany. I am not going to apologize for saying I think this is a good thing, I think larger than what is on face value. I may eat my words time will tell.

But something to keep in mind:
ALL MEXICO POLITIANS ARE CORRUPT...MUNICIPAL, STATE & FEDERAL, IN THAT ORDER....

those who are not...DIE

Feliz Navidad Says Buela said...

Man...where's the Christmas love from BB readers?..all the hostility...tis the season folks..be happy you are safe and live the the greatest country in the world, Obama, Warts and all

Paz

Anonymous said...

I don't think this was the kidnapper's first rodeo-

They scanned his body and found a chip the anti-kidnapping tracking chip under his skin and removed it with scissors upon his abduction.

Wonder if they may have been ex-law enforcement or rogue police/military...

Anonymous said...

lol @ the Obama, warts and all comment!

''lito 'brito said...

@ capo

yeap that is what i am saying ...and have been saying..i think PAN has cut a deal for the next election.with either chapo or la leytra...or both

nobody is a fool in Mexico...everbody knows you are not going to "destroy the cartels"..what is really happening is that one or two cartels will emerge

that cartel(s) will be able to do business quietly...everbody play nice...no more cowboy shoot em up shit

PAN will have won the drug war

and the cartel(s) will donate money and muscle to keep PAN in power..


and the tourists will return, and remark to each other how safe it is in Mexico these days


isn't that back to where we started?



and for anon...yeah i think it helped the Z ..so what?... you waving a flag for the Z?

and if you want to argue ...i am yer turtledove... give yourself a name and go for it
nameless pendejo..

Matanzas said...

@ Buela,
some said that Stalin was looking so cute with his big mustache ... Forget the beard, this is not Santa, this Diego guy is at the root of the corruption in this country. This greedy devil is part of the club who promotes feudal ages in Mexico.

@ All here:
Don't try to find Byzantines politics between GOVT and DTOs in this. There is indeed a new group in the plaza, Los ex misteriosos desaparecedores, and this one is politic. No narco can make a citation of Bertolt Brecht. They are after both PRI and PAN.
You may already have read their Epílogo de una desaparición where they explain why they held Diego Fernandez. If not, you must and here is the link:
http://mexicobajofuego.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/recopilacion-de-los-comunicados-de-los-ex-misteriosos-desaparecedores/
For those who are struggling with Spanish language, paste the link in Google Translate.

Now, this 2012 election in Mexico becomes more and more interesting:

RED POR LA TRANSFORMACIÓN GLOBAL

¡CONTRA LA INJUSTICIA Y LA IMPUNIDAD, NI PERDON NI OLVIDO!

@Ernesto 101, I hope you have a web access in South Tx. This will make your day.

Fraternalmente, MFG, Happy holidays. Que viva la revolucion!

''lito 'brito said...

I am glad the old guy got away...7 months is a long time to be in limbo...he is a tough old dude just to have survived it..forgive my captors , my ass ..

FELIZ NAVIDAD BUELA

here is your present ......jajajaj..

ernest1 is gone for a while ...he is turning into a good patriotic American here lately though..

i got him signed up to do some border duty in the S.H.I.T (short heroes in training ) program




amen on the corrupto politicos ...it is root hog er die...

most politicians any where in the world are corrupt in varying degrees...Mexico just magnifys it 1000 times...

Mexican politics is a real study of corruption from top to bottom...anybody who has any bit of power is gonna abuse it ...

isn't that the purpose of having power...to further oneself?...

Mexicans are realists..when you got the power...secure it by helping your friends and hurting your enemys..it only makes sense in a corrupt society


that is why it would be normal for PAN to seek to solidify their power by going after any possible supporters of their main rivals PRI...

and it is a convenient way to reign in support form the cartels by kicking their asses into line ...either behind PAN ..or into the grave



PAN was the pick of the bush admin...and if the usa cuts the supply line in Guatamala, it will help Calderon by giving him more clout when the time comes to make the deal with the cartels..

you can't have folk heroes, demigods, cowboys and wildmen in the business anymore ...too many players ..too many variables...

it is time to get real about this drug business, as it is set to expand globally ..as far as Australia and Africa...it could develop into a major source of revenue for Mexico going way beyond the US market

in the next election PRI is gonnna harp on the failed drug war... but if PAN can cut a deal before that and when election time comes the remaining cartel(s)will play ball...PAN will be in there for 50 years

after the recent chaos , most Mexicans will be happy to just be able to walk the streets again , and nobody will care that the drug business is booming as long as they are not threatened...PAN will get the credit for the new peace and prosperity...and can improve the park with drug money

people who seek power should be suspect in the first place ...meglo mania is a diagnosed mental illness..

''lito 'brito said...

@ matanzas


wow...can any body say FARC ... Mexican style

Third of three.

(( National sovereignty resides essentially and originally in the people. All power emanates from the people and is instituted for their benefit. The people at all times the inalienable right to alter or modify their form of government.

Article 39 of the Mexican Constitution ))

an interesting passage to lift and include in their manifesto..

Thomas Jefferson said something similar ,,,,about when a govt becomes too corrupt , that it is the duty of patriots to overthrow it ..



it really reminds me of a couple of quotes from MAO TSE TUNG...from the little red book

"the people and the people alone are the motive force in the making of world history today"


and my personal favorite..."power emanates from the barrel of a gun"

i can see them getting a little support...from people who don't trust the government..just about everbody...and those who are fed up with the cartels..most people...

but is it revolution time i Mexico....i don't see it right away...

unless the USA or some other entity gets drawn into it , i don't see the drug war turning into a patriotic revolution..


but you are right ..another player ..and "ol ernie is gonna eat this up...jajaja

Matanzas said...

'Brito,
all good points. So, you are betting for the Iraqi compromise, alliance between the PAN and some Cartels, makes sense to me.

Nayarita 213 said...

@ Matanzas Thanks for the link!!

Buela said...

Briiiiiiiiiiito!

So cynical amigo..jeje

Honestly, I am missing E1 a bit..he's my therapy I pretend he is DTOs & corrupt Mx gov when I attack...keeps my agression regulated. Yeah thanks for his S.H.I.T assignment...note; I told him I was making a bumper sticker for his mother's vehicle reads
I LOVE (sub with heart graphic) MY S.H.I.T
o
PROUD MOM OF A BIG S.H.I.T.

I don't know Brit..is it impolite to talk shit about E1 with him gone? Hmmmm. I think Hussy's are exempt from rules of manners. and his christmas greeting to you I lMAO!!! I could picture your face...HUH??????? Yeah you too Ernie...

Back to Diego...
First I never thought Stalin was cute mustache or not...if you have been listening to the interviews of Diego...there appears a change. This may be good. Maybe he has seen the light, will write a book how fucked up his thinking was before kidnapping...and how it was the best thing that ever happened to him, and he is going to spend his life an advocate for government intregrity, and educational/employment possibilities for all Mexicans....

That's my dream Matanzas...lets give it a chance.

PS BRITO
when E1 said he was going to South Tx I was going to ask if he would stop by my house and water my plants...jeje..
then I thought.... maybe not

Anonymous said...

I think the old asshole was had himself kidnapped and made the whole thing up.
He has taken land from people and defended too many narco's for anyone to take pity on him.
Anyway in Mexico once they receive the ransom they kill the victim anyway....
I think it was a set-up to protect him and then make the government look good..

Matanzas said...

RED POR LA TRANSFORMACIÓN GLOBAL has a yahoo group:
http://mx.groups.yahoo.com/group/redporlatransformacion/


@Buela,
I believe Diego Fernandez has been learning something about himself during this long ordeal, may be something he wouldn't like to be remembered for. I just can't believe in late remission from greed and selfishness. I know it's xmas time, but I don't believe in miracles. Sorry I'm a cynical old man, this comes perhaps from my cultural background.

MFG

Matanzas said...

@Buela,
He said to the journalists after his release:
Mis arreos son las armas, mi descanso, el pelear, mi cama, las duras peñas, mi vivir, siempre luchar (Don Quijote).
Does this sound like the old wolf has found some peaceful purpose in his life? He's ready to bite, and harder than ever.

Anonymous said...

Just in time to don the red suit, check the list twice and deliver presents to all the good little boys and girls in the world.

''lito 'brito said...

@ matanzas Y B

yeap...it is the only way out...cut a deal y declare victory ...i am thinking it was the plan from the start

ernie ...where are you ernie...buela misses you...yeap thats the thing about hussys..they get to do whatever they want ..'cause they have no shame..jajaj

yeah i was surprised...it is good...ernie is coming around...

hey for a guy i wanted to strangle...i am getting fond of him...

seee... there ya go ..FREE SPEECH IS GOOD... AND BECAUSE HE IS AN AMERICAN HE HAS THE RIGHT...

i think the dialogue here will bring ernie out of his shell...he is starting to make more sense..and less blame it ALL on the USA


i got him with the big 'ol softhearted American lug thing...


mebbe he just needs a little love...



but i don't know if i want him around my plants yet either ...jajajaj

Anonymous said...

@ December 21, 2010 9:09 AM

"and for anon...yeah i think it helped the Z ..so what?... you waving a flag for the Z?"

No, I'm just sick and tired of you crying all the time with your stupid theories and your remarks full of ignorance esp about the Zetas...it really gets old....esp that the government backing el chapo now, and next week its prob going to be the Zetas...how do you explain that the government is going to be backing los leyva when they killed Arturo Beltran Leyva the top guy and arrested his second el grande...makes no sense..or that fact they killed el chapo 3rd right hand man? Nacho coronel...name one source you have none right??? not one shred of fact..It is this simplistic, uninformed opinion that keeps the situation going in Mexico..

"and if you want to argue ...i am yer turtledove... give yourself a name and go for it
nameless pendejo.."

I was going to give my real name but just to piss you off im signing off as Z-1 haha

Z-1

Goodnight pendejo...

ajulio said...

well well buelita, you certainly have come back with a BANG! and the wolves are all out to get you. good to have you back! this panel is not the same without your infinite wisdom and witty charm.

but! diego fernandez is not a man who has experienced a spirital change just becuase he declared forgiveness towards his captors.

he is still a money-hungry, corrupt, cold-hearted, filthy rich business man. this dirty leopard has not changed his spots. it's a lil' too late for this 69 year old business man to be experiencing a divine epiphany. diego has probably placed his mischevious nose into every type of high scale white collar crime that probably exists. he's a major mexican power broker-criminal lawyer-politician who was the president of the mexican senate. he's a high class criminal who enjoys sucking on big brown expensive cigars. he is no different than the other wealthy conservative businessmen who run the united states.

it makes sense to me that a power broker would be the center of a political kidnapping, but i personally believe that this was all done for money(enough money to support a town)or enough to support the EPR(who knows). i don't believe that the anonymous misteriosos desaparecedores' motives were ideological and were an act of reparation towards plutocracy and i don't believe that this was part of a political conspiracy.

if anything, i give a lil' credit to the kidnappers for keeping their end of the bargain for returning him safely. to me, diego is a bad man but no one can discredit this man's genius.

this was a tamed kidnapping for lots of dinero. i believe that it was just dirty business, which is what diego fernandez is use to.

Anonymous said...

Honestly after seeing him giving an interview..I think this kidnapping did him some good..he seem like a change man...like one of those life and death experiences that changes your life forever..I hope he has changed for the good...but in this world who knows...

''lito 'brito said...

@Z1

you stupid Z sucking piece of shit...going to give your real name ...what a stupid thing to even consider...you can't even read ..i never said anything about beltran levya...get some lentes you ignorant cocksucker..you sound like a 12 year old troll...


..

ajulio said...

well, even though the kidnappers supposedly treated poor ol' diego well, no one wants to be kidnapped for more than seven months. especially a 69 year old man. the unexpected must have ate him up. i'm sure this incident has affected him somehow. must've been very tramatic and stressing for his poor lil' heart to handle. he probably believed that he was intocable. im glad that this incident has humbled him a lil'. he deserved it. now it's time to kidnap carlos slim!

Buela said...

@ ana 9:34

exactly my point

one can hope..sometimes that's hard to find in Mx...hope

Buela said...

@ ajulio

Yep! But in this case I must admit I don't have the big buela stamp of confidence and a dang thing to back up my conjecture.

just hope

that for once Mexico could have a blessing that will create dialog and demand for change. DO I think it is Diego? probably not, but I hope to never give up the anticipation/hope that allows my heart to say ..."just maybe"

Paz

Anonymous said...

''lito 'brito said...

""i think PAN has cut a deal for the next election.with either chapo or la leytra...or both"

I cant read or you cant spell...look what you put "leytra" which I took it as leyva considering you cant spell for shit...but obviously you cant have a simple debate without insulting anyone who proves you wrong, Can you??? You didn't even refute one of my points I stated above and I'm the "12 year old troll" How about you grow up lito brito and when you are ready to have a debate over the drug war I will be here. I will leave you with this quote since I am an "ignorant cocksucker"

"We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Benjamin Franklin

And that is you my friend...signing off Z-1 haha

Anonymous said...

@Buela

"that for once Mexico could have a blessing that will create dialog and demand for change. DO I think it is Diego? probably not, but I hope to never give up the anticipation/hope that allows my heart to say ..."just maybe"

I'm just curious to know who do you see in Mexico today being that person for change?? Just curious cuz I see no one right now...There was once a hope with Luis Donaldo Colosio who once said "“Veo un México con hambre y sed de Justicia ....”

Ain't that so so true today

Signed el Z-1

ajulio said...

@ Z-1

Here's one for you:

"It's so simple to be wise, just think of something stupid to say and then don't say it." -ajulio haha

Anonymous said...

@ajulio
That doesn't even make any sense...but ok...haha..whatever floats your boat!! haha

I don't even know what you were trying to prove there but you sure proved your intelligence buddy haha...

Signed el Z-1

BUELA said...

@Z-1

"I'm just curious to know who do you see in Mexico today being that person for change?? Just curious cuz I see no one right now"

I see the persons of change in the hopeful, rightous faces and spirit of the children of messico....
then that hope fades to reality as they reach adulthood...realizing nothing they do or say, can create a society of intregrity, possibilties, and security...that they are enslaved by violence..to attempt to change what is results in corruption ...

or death...silver or lead

i see no hero...no honorable leader, i see no one and have concluded it will take a movement of the people..they must become the hero they await..
i will die waiting for that
so will my children
and perhaps also theirs

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