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Where in the world is Jefe Diego?

24 May 2010

There were photos, supposedly of the Jefe in captivity, circulating around the internet all weekend, which a few people say show a corpse, but even more note shows the Jefe’s beard appearing to get shorter, which doesn’t sound plausible if the guy is tied up and blind-folded somewhere.  When questions started to be raised, suddenly the federal prosecutor announced they were no longer investigating — at his family’s request (or so we’re told).  And, oddly enough, no one bothered to tell the Queretaro State Police that they’re off the case.*

I have my doubts about the legal implications of calling off an investigation (and so does the Eduardo Miranda Esquivel, president of the Union of Jurists [the Bar Association]), but — as some have suggested — it’s plausible that kidnappers would tell a family not to work with the investigators.

One mystery has been slightly cleared up.  The “bloody scissors” found at the scene (with no indication of the amount of blood nor the size of the scissors, which could have been anything from a beard trimmer to the big honkers used in the market for quartering chickens…. or anywhere in between) were supposedly used to remove the microchip the Jefe — and several other “high visibility” kidnapping targets — had implanted in their arms a few years back.

Both the lack of information — exacerbated by the self-censorship of the nation’s main media outlet, Televisa — over any coverage of the disappearance and no details forthcoming about even minor matters like the type of scissors, the obviously uselessness of the microchips and the national security forces bowing to the wishes of the individual’s family all are likely to make this even more of a political circus than it already is when Congress meets in special session to discuss national security issues.

I’ve suggested two wacky theories I’ve seen floated: that, given Jefe Diego’s ties to organized crime figures, the Army has him or this is all part of an internal political ploy to strengthen the hand of  the security hard-liners in the Calderón cabinet.   David Agren — who isn’t one for conspiracy theories — seems to offer some evidence of the latter when he writes:

[Diego Fernández de Cevallos] is the political patron of Attorney General Arturo Chávez Chávez and Interior Minister Fernando Gómez-Mont – two of the most senior members of President Felipe Calderón’s so-called security cabinet. Chávez previously worked as a lawyer in Fernández de Cevallos’ firm and only became attorney general last year, replacing Eduardo Medina Mora. Both he and Gómez-Mont are among the most prominent members of the so-called “Diego Faction” in the National Action Party. (“Jefe Diego,” while reputedly pious and, without doubt, controversial – recall the “Highway of Love” built with public and private money to facilitate travelling to his girlfriend’s hometown in the Los Altos region of Jalisco – is not part of the ultra-conservative “El Yunque” as some with unfavorable opinions of the PAN have stated.)

On top of all that we are talking about the guy who engineered Carlos Salinas’ problematic “victory” in 1988, who mysteriously stopped campaigning himself when he started to pull ahead of Ernesto Zedillo during his own run for the presidency in 1994, and who is widely suspected of manipulating the legal case in which Lopez Obrador’s backers were denied a recount of the ballots in 2006.

Figuring out whodunit only scratches the surface of this mystery.  Even if it is just an ordinary rich, obnoxious guy kidnapping.

*  Something I hadn’t noticed until now, which doesn’t mean anything particularly, but makes the whole thing all that much weirder.  Jefe Diego’s disappearance was from his home in Municipio de Pedro Escobedo.  That’s where the police chief was unceremoniously sacked after his appearance on national television when he was too shit-faced to get his perp-pix taken by the Federal Police when he and a couple of officers were arrested for drinking and driving and shooting.  Cherchez-les-drunks?

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