Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Message Attributes Mexican Politician’s Kidnapping to Zapatistas

A message signed by someone claiming to be a member of the Zapatista National Liberation Army, or EZLN, says that group was responsible for the kidnapping of Mexican former presidential candidate Diego Fernandez de Cevallos, who spent nearly eight months in captivity last year.

The message is signed by “El Guerrero Balam,” who claims to be a “loyal member of the EZLN insurgent forces” and an associate of the so-called Global Transformation Network.

The signer claims to be a subordinate of “Subcomandante Marcos,” leader of the long-quiescent EZLN guerrilla group, and states that Fernandez de Cevallos, the presidential candidate of the now-governing National Action Party, or PAN, in 1994, was “one of the main enemies of our project” to secure autonomy for indigenous peoples.

“El Guerrero Balam” says that, due to the government’s nationwide deployment of the army and Federal Police against criminal organizations, Mexico has become “a hell in which poor Mexican youth are hung by the neck from bridges,” referring to the grisly manner in which violent drug cartels often display rival gang members’ corpses.

The message says the government’s strategy for dealing with its opponents has forced the EZLN, which has mainly devoted itself to social and community activism since a brief uprising in January 1994, “to have to resort to constructive violence” and “take appropriate action in secret.”

It said the Zapatista movement, which has a leftist, Indian-rights agenda, has its sights set on the “total destruction of the current Mexican political system” and will use the ransom paid for Fernandez de Cevallos’ release to that end.

The captors of the 69-year-old politician sent a handful of e-mails to Mexican media outlets in which they referred to themselves as the “Misteriosos Desaparecedores” (Mysterious Disappearers), although in their last message they called themselves the Global Transformation Network.

In a public appearance after his release on Dec. 11 of last year, Fernandez de Cevallos provided few details about his captors nor the manner in which they freed him, although he said the government had a “pending” task of bringing them to justice.

Sources with the Attorney General’s Office consulted about the message said Saturday they would not comment on the kidnapping case.

Fernandez de Cevallos, who disappeared May 14 from his La Cabaña ranch near San Clemente, in the central Mexican state of Queretaro, was released in the central city of Queretaro after his family paid a huge ransom.

The politician negotiated the ransom himself, persuading his kidnappers to accept $30 million instead of the $100 million they initially demanded, according to Mexican media.

In his comments after he was set free, Fernandez de Cevallos said both political and financial factors were involved in his kidnapping.

“They considered me a man who was an enemy of their causes,” he told Radioformula last month.

Fernandez de Cevallos has been one of the most powerful figures in the PAN and Mexican politics in the past two decades.

Known for his fiery oratory, “Boss Diego” was a member of the lower house of Congress from 1991 to 1994 and a senator from 2000 to 2006.

He also runs a successful law firm that has represented both Mexico’s blue-chip corporations and reputed drug kingpins.


  1. May that be true. May that be a light of hope against the descent to the inferno.

    From a blogger on BDN:
    MMMMM Las cosas algun dia cambiaran en nuestro mexico, ya que pues nada es eterno, solo DIOS es eterno.,por lo pronto, o mas bien mientras tanto.


    Mexico divided norte y sur?

  3. yeah right, they considered him a an enemy of their causes but they also wanted 100 million dollars but they only got 30 million. they need to practice more on their negotiation techniques...Viva Las Zapatistas! the friendly kidnappers!

  4. TO be honest, I'm shocked it was them.

    No offense to the Zapatasta's or their supporters but I always took them to be simple campesino's with a couple of rusty rifles and a whole lot of rhetoric.

    I remember growing up on the border and when we would try and cross the bridge into El Paso, the Zapatistas would steal cars and block the roads leading to the customs lanes. A precursor to the narco-bloqueos (only they wouldn't necessarily set them on fire).

    Looks like they (ELZN) are taking a page out of the Narco playbook, just as the narcos have taken some of the Zapatista tactics as well.

    I wonder if the ELZN has now or ever will dabble in the drug trade, Chiapas is a perfect place for the cartels to smuggle their merchandise through.

  5. It wasn't them.

  6. Did he kidnap himself? How strange that his dead and tortured body was not found dumped on the street like the usual end to all kidnapped victims....

    This was all a hoax so he could move his money to an overseas account

  7. The link provided by 11:29 set the record straight (I think), the important part has this to say on the kidnapping of Don Diego

    "Por todo esto es claro, y reiteramos una vez más, que ni el EZLN ni la Otra Campaña realizan secuestros. Ni el EZLN ni La Otra Campaña secuestraron a Diego Fernández de Cevallos.

    Si alguien tiene simpatía o considera que políticamente es correcto practicar el secuestro, no tiene lugar en la Otra Campaña. El “guerrero Balam” como se autonombra quien mandó el comunicado al que nos hemos referido ya tuvo sus 15 minutos de fama, algunos medios retomaron fragmentos de su escrito y lo pusieron en sus primera páginas. Puede disfrutarlos. Mientras, las comunidades indígenas zapatistas sufrirán una nueva escalada de agresiones como resultado de este tipo de ocurrencias oportunistas y policiacas. Este es el verdadero peligro compañeras y compañeros, estemos pendientes ante esta nueva provocación contra los compañeros zapatistas."

    Basically it states that the official ELZN position is that:

    1. ELZN and their armed wing La Otra Compania (to distinguish themselves from the Z i suppose) had absolutley nothing to do with, and has no knowledge about the people responsible for the abduction of Don Diego.

    2. They say that they do not have a 'Guerrero Balam' in their ranks, and at best it was a misquote by the media.

    3. They claim not to use kidnapping as a tool for their cause.

    @ 12:05

    I've pondered that as well, there is something not right about all this. I don't think Don Diego is telling us everything he knows about the situation.

  8. Perhaps? I certainly wouldn't put it past him to be able to try to pull such a stunt off....

    'Anonymous said...
    Did he kidnap himself? How strange that his dead and tortured body was not found dumped on the street like the usual end to all kidnapped victims....

    This was all a hoax so he could move his money to an overseas account'

  9. Translation mix-up.

    La Otra Campana, not La Otra Compania.

    Easy to get them mixed up, its only a difference of two letters.


    I don't have to print your rude comments. U know who u are.

  10. Just shows how easily the media can de duped into bogus accusations.

    Such a kidnapping would be completely against the principles of the Zapatista beliefs. Nothing would be gained from it, except bad press.

    The kidnapping may have been carried out by the EPR who is another leftist group. In any case it would be justified as the Mexican government can't turn up several EPR members who were detained and presumed executed by the Mexican government.

  11. @6:12PM

    Hey, I didn't say it yet.


Comments are moderated, refer to policy for more information.
Envía fotos, vídeos, notas, enlaces o información
Todo 100% Anónimo;