Mexican president hails release of former presidential candidate

15:47, December 21, 2010      

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Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Monday applauded the release of Diego Fernandez de Cevallos, 1994 presidential candidate for Calderon's ruling National Action Party, after a seven-month ordeal.

Fernandez, 68, was kidnapped near his ranch in Pedro Escobedo in the central state of Queretaro in May. Photos of him were published on the Internet after he was kidnapped, but little was reported on his case because his family requested the media keep silent to facilitate negotiations with the kidnappers.

"On the first day of Fernandez's disappearance, Calderon told the attorney general and the interior and public security ministers to investigate the case," the president said in a statement.

"Calderon also kept contact with the children of Fernandez, offering them solidarity and necessary support," it said.

The statement described the central government as being "respectful" regarding the Fernandez family's wishes.

"The attorney general's office will continue investigations to find those responsible and bring them to justice," the statement said.

Meanwhile, Fernandez thanked media for their silence at a press conference in Mexico City Monday afternoon.

"The media showed self-control and morality," he said. "The life of a person was respected, and that means everything to me."

Fernandez said he is physically fit, adding that he had personally forgiven the kidnappers, but called on authorities to catch them.

Source: Xinhua

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