Mexican Bishop Who Disappeared While Mediating For Cartels Located

A retired Mexican bishop with the Roman Catholic Church thought to be kidnapped has been located. Msgr. Salvador Rangel, designated as a bishop emeritus, was mediating between warring drug cartels when he disappeared.

Before his discovery, the Mexican Council of Bishops issued a statement declaring that Rangel was in poor health. The church asked that the esteemed leader be permitted to receive his medications.

But good news came Tuesday when the state of Morelos Attorney General’s Office confirmed that Rangel was found alive. He is reportedly receiving medical attention at a Cuernavaca hospital.

Meanwhile, Prosecutor Uriel Carmona said the bishop had indeed been kidnapped. He gave the media a picture showing Rangel receiving treatment in a hospital room.

The retired bishop disappeared on Saturday as he worked to broker an agreement between Mexico’s notoriously dangerous cartels. Rangel previously described being in danger and receiving death threats, presumably over his involvement with attempting to bring peace.

He reportedly was successful in negotiating a truce between rival factions. Cartels in the diocese of Chilpancingo-Chilapa in the southern state of Guerrero have been in a turf war for years, and Rangel had the government’s blessing in his negotiations.

The Bishop’s Council worded their request for his treatment carefully, knowing full well the very real threat of violence posed by his captors.

The statement read, “Considering his poor health, we call firmly but respectfully to those who are holding Msgr. Rangel captive to allow him to take the medications he needs in a proper and timely fashion, as an act of humanity.”

It is not clear who kidnapped the highly respected bishop, and none of the infamous local gangs which include the Tlacos, the Ardillos and the Familia Michoacana claimed responsibility.

The most sensational case of cartel violence involving a high church official occurred in 1993 when Bishop Juan Posadas Ocampo was murdered in an apparent case of mistaken identity.