Bishop Emeritus Salvador Rangel Hospitalized After Kidnapping In Mexico

Monsignor Salvador Rangel a retired Roman Catholic bishop recognized for his efforts to foster peace between warring drug cartels in Mexico was found alive and hospitalized on Tuesday following a brief abduction. The Mexican Council of Bishops reported that Rangel, who serves as the bishop emeritus of the Chilpancingo-Chilapa diocese, disappeared last Saturday while attempting to mediate an agreement between rival factions.

The state of Morelos Attorney General’s Office confirmed that Rangel is currently receiving medical attention at a hospital in Cuernavaca. Prosecutor Uriel Carmona provided the media with a picture showing Rangel receiving treatment in a hospital room and stated that the bishop had indeed been kidnapped.

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.

Rangel’s kidnapping highlights the challenges faced by community leaders and clerics who attempt to foster peace in regions dominated by cartel violence. Throughout his tenure, Rangel’s efforts to engage with gang leaders to quell violence often placed him at significant risk.

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. Rangel’s ordeal is the latest in a series of violent incidents involving church officials in Mexico dating back to at least the tragic 1993 killing of Bishop Juan Posadas Ocampo during a cartel shootout.