EFEChilpancingo, Mexico

A Mexican congressional candidate kidnapped by gunmen while traveling in the Tierra Caliente, a region straddling Michoacan, Guerrero and Mexico states that has been the scene of fighting among rival drug cartels, was found alive by police, state prosecutors said.

Silvia Romero, who is running for a seat in Congress from the southern state of Guerrero, was driving with bodyguard Marcelino Lara and adviser Luis Estefano Cervantes on a highway in the region when the group was abducted by gunmen on Tuesday.

Romero, a member of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, and the two men were stopped as they drove on the highway that links the cities of Iguala and Arcelia, sources close to the candidate told Efe.

The candidate, who is from Iguala, was heading to Ciudad Altamirano to attend meetings with grassroots organizations backing the campaign of PRD gubernatorial candidate Beatriz Mojica.

Romero was Guerrero's education secretary until October 2014, when Gov. Angel Aguirre stepped down amid a wave of protests following the disappearance of 43 trainee teachers in Iguala on Sept. 26.

An investigation is being conducted in connection with the complaint filed by the PRD over the candidate's disappearance in the Tierra Caliente, an area controlled by the Familia Michoacana drug cartel, the Guerrero Attorney General's Office said in a statement.

"After an intense operation, investigators, working with state and federal police, managed to find the candidate in good health" on Wednesday, the AG's office said, adding that Romero's two companions were also safe.

The AG's office did not provide any details about where the candidate was found or whether any arrests were made.

Mexico is holding its midterm elections on June 7, with 500 seats in Congress; nine governorships, including that of Guerrero; and 1,532 local offices up for grabs.

Guerrero is one of Mexico's main drug-war hotspots, and candidates for public office have been among the victims of the violence.

On May 1, gunmen shot and killed Ulises Fabian Quiroz, candidate of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, for mayor of the southern town of Chilapa de Alvarez.

Last week, Citizens' Movement party gubernatorial candidate Luis Walton Aburto was intercepted and briefly detained by gunmen in that city, prompting him to suspend his campaign in that part of the state.

On March 10, Aide Nava Gonzalez, the PRD's candidate for mayor of Ahuacuotzingo, a town near Chilapa, was beheaded by a gang in the disputed region, which is being fought over by the Los Ardillos and Los Rojos gangs.

The relatives of the 43 trainee teachers who disappeared in Iguala have called for the upcoming elections in Guerrero to be postponed, saying there are no guarantees that they can be held under normal conditions.