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Friday, 11 October, 2002, 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK
Latin star's sister released
Laura Zapata
Laura's family refused to involve the police
The prosecutor's office in Mexico City has confirmed the release of the Mexican actress, Laura Zapata, who was kidnapped 18 days ago.

Miss Zapata - sister of the famous singer and soap star Thalia - disappeared with their other sister, Ernestina Sodi, after leaving a theatre in the capital.

The whereabouts of Miss Sodi are still not known.

Thalia Sodi
Thalia is a household name in Mexico
The kidnappers are reported to have demanded a ransom of $1m for the sisters' release.

It is not clear whether any money exchanged hands.

The sisters' family had refused to report their disappearance to the police, asking the authorities to stay out of negotiations for their release.

Thalia, a popular Latin American star, recently performed at the Latin American Grammys. She is married to Tommy Mottola the head of Sony Music.

Laura 'showed up'

At a news conference on Friday, Mexico City's prosecutor general Bernardo Batiz said the chief of police had told him that "Laura showed up", but he had no other details.

Without specifying, Mr Batiz said international experts had secured Miss Zapata's release.

He had no information regarding the third sister.

Thalia's family is reported to have conducted its own negotiations with a gang of kidnappers believed to have seized the sisters.

Correspondents say kidnappings are a frequent occurrence in Mexico and often the families do not report them as they fear corrupt officials may be involved with the abductors, or that hostages might be killed in botched attempts to rescue them.

See also:

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