A Mexican banker and multimillionaire abducted in March is free after his family paid a $30 million cash ransom.
Alfredo Harp Helu, 50, president and a major stockholder in the banking-financial firm of Banamex-Accival, was one of dozens of businessmen kidnapped in Mexico in the past year.His kidnappers originally asked for $90 million, but after protracted negotiations accepted about $30 million. They had insisted they would kill Harp Helu if the ransom was not paid.
"I have to give thanks to God for this situation that allowed me to be here again," Harp Helu said Tuesday night after his release.
The kidnappers have not been identified. Harp Helu said it would be "very difficult" for him to recognize his captors. "They injected me with something, and I think I was anesthetized," he said.
He said he spent a good part of the time blindfolded. Some of the kidnappers treated him well and others "not so well," he said.
Harp Helu said he planned "to rest for a time and after that return to my normal activities."
Harp Helu was kidnapped the morning of March 14 on his way to work.
His oldest son, Alfredo Harp Calderoni, went on national television last Thursday to accept the kidnappers' conditions for his father's release.
The kidnapping was the most spectacular in a wave of abductions this year in Mexico, already shaken by an Indian rebellion in the south and the assassination of its leading presidential candidate.
Harp Helu is a leading member of the group that purchased Banco Nacional de Mexico from the government in 1991. They combined it with the Accival stock brokerage company to form Grupo Banamex-Accival.
Angel Losada Moreno, vice chairman of Grupo Gigante, the country's second-largest supermarket chain, was kidnapped April 25 in Mexico City. He has not been heard from since.