Former Mexican presidential candidate Diego Fernandez de Cevallos was reported missing last Saturday morning. His SUV was found near his ranch “La Cabaña” in Pedro Escobedo (Queretaro) with blood stains and signs of violence. There has been some speculation the former presidential candidate may have been kidnapped, however prosecutors said neither the family nor the police had been contacted by anyone making ransom demands or with any information as to the politician’s whereabouts.
As the search got under way, frantic politicians and media reported that Mr. Fernandez de Cevallos’ body had been found, then said that he was in hospital with a gunshot wound (in critical condition) and then that he was still missing.
Diego Fernández de Cevallos Ramos (a.k.a. “el Jefe Diego” -Diego the boss-) who is also a former Mexican senator and top lawyer, has no security team or bodyguard, despite the increasing drug-related mayhem and violence all over the Mexican territory. At this moment prosecutors have not acknowledged any witnesses of Mr. Fernadez de Cevallos probable abduction.
Military personnel and police detectives are combing rural areas surrounding the ranch for any trace of evidence. Police searched local hospitals in case he had been taken there unconscious or under a false name.
The mysterious disappearance of Mr. Fernandez de Cevallos comes a week after unidentified gunmen killed a mayoral candidate in Valle Hermoso near the Texan border.
President Felipe Calderon has ordered authorities to help Querataro state investigators in the search for Mr. Fernandez de Cevallos, calling him “a key politician in the Mexican transition to democracy”.
A man of power
“El Jefe Diego” lost his bid for president in 1994 but has remained a high-level member of the ruling National Action Party (conservative). He has been congressman and senator, as well as a top attorney who has represented many controversial and shady characters and businesses over the years.
It has been said that both Fernando Gómez Mont (a.k.a. “el feo” -the ugly one-) and Arturo Chávez Chávez, the Government Secretary and Attorney General (respectively) owe their current appointments to Mr. Fernandez de Cevallos, making him one of the most powerful characters in Mexican politic landscape.
May 17th, 2010.