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Kidnappers Free Former Mexican Presidential Candidate

A billboard with an image of former presidential candidate Diego Fernandez de Cevallos reads in Spanish 'Diego, we are with you' in Queretaro, Mexico (File Photo)

Kidnappers have freed former Mexican presidential candidate Diego Fernandez de Cevallos, who had been held hostage for seven months.

Officials and a family spokesman Monday said Fernandez de Cevallos was released, but did not say when he was set free. Details surrounding the release were not known and there was no immediate comment from the government of President Felipe Calderon.

Fernandez de Cevallos disappeared in mid-May as he headed to his ranch in the central Mexican state of Queretaro. Officials had said his abandoned car was found near the property and there were unspecified signs of violence inside the vehicle.

Fernandez de Cevallos was the 1994 presidential candidate for the National Action Party, which now governs Mexico.

Kidnappings and killings have become commonplace in Mexico as authorities have struggled to control drug traffickers and organized crime gangs.

At least 30,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since President Calderon took office in late 2006 and began a crackdown on drug cartels.