MEXICO CITY – A former Mexican presidential candidate who was kidnapped for seven months said Tuesday that the day before his release, his captors told him he would be killed and he had to make a written plea for his life.
Diego Fernandez de Cevallos, who was freed on Dec. 20, spoke after Mexican media published a statement purportedly from his captors revealing the written plea.
"Yes, I was sentenced to death the day before my liberation," Fernandez de Cevallos said in an interview with Radio Formula. "I did ask in writing, and with my signature, that the death sentence be revoked."
Fernandez de Cevallos' kidnapping has stoked fears of a resurgence of leftist rebels in Mexico. A previously unknown group known as the "Network for Global Transformation" has claimed responsibility for his May abduction.
The day after his release, the group posted a blog describing Fernandez de Cevallos as a "corrupt, arrogant" influence-broker and said his kidnapping was "a blow against the plutocracy" and "an act of reparation."
Fernandez de Cevallos, a political power broker who ran unsuccessfully for president in 1994 for the conservative National Action Party that now governs Mexico, has said his captors had both financial and ideological motivations. He said his captors considered him an enemy of their causes.
On Tuesday, he said he would not "qualify or disqualify the sincerity of his captors."
"I'm simply registering the events and making them known," he added.
In its statement Tuesday, the "Network for Global Transformation" said violence was not their goal but defended it as a means to an end.
"The exercise of constructive violence is for us a legitimate recourse" the statement said.
President Felipe Calderon has accused the kidnappers of "hypocrisy" for using "supposed social causes" to justify the kidnapping.