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Alleged Kidnapping in Mexico Spurs Manhunt

Kidnappings are not necessarily new activities in the war on drugs in Mexico, but this latest one has President Felipe Calderon on edge. According to a report in The Australian, the president has ordered a massive manhunt to find a missing politician.

This “personal friend” of the president is Diego Fernandez de Cevallos, who ran for president in 1994. Fernandez disappeared over the weekend. His vehicle was found near his ranch bearing signs of violence, prompting authorities to launch an investigation.

According to prosecutors, he had been reported missing from his ranch and the federal government is working very closely with local authorities. The disappearance of Fernandez is considered the most high-profile apparent kidnapping since Calderon began his war on drugs in 2006.

This disappearance is being credited for injecting a new uncertainty and uneasiness into the country’s social and political panorama. It is still unclear as to whether or not there was any political move behind the disappearance of this individual, who is a partner in a law firm with Interior Minister Fernando Gomez Mont.

While evidence has yet to surface indicating whether or not this incident was the work of drug cartels, guerillas or other criminals, the disappearance could have major consequences for Mexico. If left unsolved – or proven to be drug related – it could further destabilize a country where more than 23,000 have died in the war against drug traffickers.

If guerrilla groups are identified as responsible, it could reawaken fears of other armed separatist groups pushing for a coup at a time when the government is continuing to struggle against the power of organized crime.

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