Cousin of Mexico media czar kidnapped - reports

MEXICO CITY, Sept 2 Thu Sep 2, 2010 5:35pm EDT

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MEXICO CITY, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Armed men abducted the cousin of the owner of Mexico's top broadcaster, Televisa, on Thursday in one of the hotspots of the country's drug war, local media reported.

Fernando Azcarraga Lopez, a former mayor of the port city of Tampico in northeastern Tamaulipas state, was seized as he left a coffee shop in Tampico, El Norte and El Sol de Tampico newspapers reported.

The papers identified Azcarraga, a businessman, as a cousin of Televisa (TV.N) (TLVACPO.MX) Chairman and Chief Executive Emilio Azcarraga Jean, one of the most high-profile media figures in Mexico.

Police in Tamaulipas said they could not confirm the reports, while Televisa, the world's largest producer of Spanish-language content, said it had no information on the reports.

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Full coverage of the drugs war [ID:nMEXICODRU]

Multimedia coverage:

here

Political risks in Mexico [ID:nRISKMX]

FACTBOX on latest attacks [ID:nN29121638]

Graphic on drug cartels link.reuters.com/qyn96n

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A car bomb exploded last week on a street near Televisa's studios in Ciudad Victoria, another city in Tamaulipas state, in what appeared to be the latest attempt by drug gangs to intimidate the media.

More than 28,000 people have died in drug violence since President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown on the powerful cartels when he took office in late 2006.

Police this week captured Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez, a major drug trafficker, but his arrest is not expected to halt the flow of drugs into the United States or staunch bloodshed in Mexico's most violent areas, many of them along the U.S. border.

Mexico has also long been known for criminal gangs that kidnap wealthy individuals and demand ransoms. (Reporting by Cyntia Barrera Diaz and Robin Emmott; Editing by Missy Ryan and Paul Simao)

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