Monsignor Salvador Rangel Rescued After Kidnapping While Mediating Cartel Conflict

Monsignor Salvador Rangel a retired Roman Catholic bishop known for his efforts to broker peace between rival drug cartels in Mexico was found alive and hospitalized on Tuesday after being kidnapped over the weekend. The Mexican Council of Bishops confirmed that Rangel, who serves as the bishop emeritus of the Chilpancingo-Chilapa diocese, disappeared last Saturday while attempting to mediate an agreement between warring factions.

Prior to his discovery, the council had issued a statement declaring that Rangel was in poor health and asked that the esteemed leader be permitted to receive his medications. The carefully worded request acknowledged the very real threat of violence posed by his captors.

Morelos Chief Prosecutor Uriel Carmona provided the media with a picture showing Rangel receiving treatment in a hospital room and confirmed that the bishop had indeed been kidnapped. The nature of Rangel’s abduction termed by officials as “express,” suggests it was a swift operation typically carried out by lower-tier criminals seeking smaller ransoms for a quick resolution.

Throughout his tenure, Rangel had described being in danger and receiving death threats presumably due to his involvement in attempting to bring peace to the region. Despite the risks, he reportedly succeeded in negotiating a truce between rival factions in the Chilpancingo-Chilapa diocese where cartels have been engaged in a turf war for years.

The identity of Rangel’s kidnappers remains unclear, and none of the infamous local gangs which include the Tlacos, the Ardillos and the Familia Michoacana have claimed responsibility for the abduction.

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