Felipe Calderon, Mexico President, Says Veracruz 'Left In The Hands Of The Zetas'

Felipe Calderon Veracruz

MARK STEVENSON   10/14/11 11:47 PM ET   AP

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Felipe Calderon said Friday that the violence-plagued Gulf coast state of Veracruz had been left in the hands of the brutal Zetas drug cartel.

Calderon has complained in the past that previous governments allowed Mexico's cartel problems to grow and didn't do enough to stop them. But he hasn't previously suggested a state was largely turned over to traffickers.

In comments to a meeting of crime victims' groups in Mexico City, Calderon did not say specifically who he thought was responsible.

"I believe Veracruz was left in the hands of the Zetas, I don't know if it was involuntary, probably, I hope so," said Calderon, who added that "if we hadn't taken on organized crime, they would have taken over the country, I assure you."

There have been persistent accusations against former Veracruz Gov. Fidel Herrera Beltran, who left office in December 2010. While his term was relatively calm in terms of violence, adversaries accuse him of allowing the Zetas to operate freely in the state, which is lucrative route for migrant and drug traffickers.

Herrera Beltran has denied those accusations, claiming they are politically motivated.

Since mid-2011, Veracruz has been hit by dozens of murders and shootouts, including a grenade attack on a boulevard that killed one Mexican tourist. The state has been the scene of bloody turf battles between the Zetas and gunmen apparently linked to the Sinaloa cartel, and in recent weeks there have been two mass killings in which 67 bodies were found.

In recent weeks, Miguel Angel Yunes – who made an unsuccessful run for governor in 2010 elections, which he lost to the candidate from Herrera Beltran's Institutional Revolutionary Party – told local media that the former governor had "handed over the police and police command to these criminal groups, and everyone in Veracruz knows it."

In late July, masked gunmen claiming to be from a group allied with the Sinaloa cartel posted a video on the internet, in which they accused the former governor of protecting their rivals, the Zetas, and called Herrera Beltran "Zeta Number One."

In an interview with MVS radio earlier this month, Herrera Beltran "energetically rejected" the allegations, and accused Yunes of being behind the anonymous video, and attributed the accusations to "perversity, hatred, rancor."

Herrera Beltran did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.

In Sinaloa state, marines killed five alleged drug traffickers in a clash in the Pacific coast city of Mazatlan, the navy said in a Friday statement.

A suspect who was detained after a gunbattle with police led authorities to a safehouse where the gunmen had hunkered down Thursday, it said.

More than 35,000 people have been killed in drug war-related violence around Mexico since President Felipe Calderon launched his offensive in late 2006, according to government figures. Some groups say more than 40,000 have died.

Also Friday, police found the bodies of three men who had been tortured and shot to death in the city of Apatzingan in Michoacan state.

Two of the men were placed on chairs and the other on the ground of a traffic circle at the city's entrance. Police also found a threatening message signed by the cult-like Knights Templar drug cartel, Michoacan prosecutors said in a statement.

In the resort city of Acapulco, seven men were killed in three separate attacks Friday, police said.

A father and son and two other men were shot to death inside an auto repair shop, the Guerrero state Public Safety Department said in a statement.

Two other men were killed in a residential area and another one was found inside a hotel, but the cause of death it those cases has not been determined, the department said.


MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Felipe Calderon said Friday that the violence-plagued Gulf coast state of Veracruz had been left in the hands of the brutal Zetas drug cartel. Calderon has compl...
MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Felipe Calderon said Friday that the violence-plagued Gulf coast state of Veracruz had been left in the hands of the brutal Zetas drug cartel. Calderon has compl...
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03:54 AM On 11/22/2011
Fidel Herrera Beltran, is a great example of what corruption has done for the drug cartels and how they will be able to continue their strong drive when known leaders have been linked to leading them to success. The drastic change of violence in Veracruz the last couple of years is only proof that there was some type of connection between cartels and governor Beltran in the previous years when he was still in office. The main reason why the drug cartels have been able to expand their territory and grow their drug gangs is because of corruption­. Corruption from government is the worst kind because not only is it harder to discover but it is what allows much more to happen giving the cartels added freedom with having such influentia­l people as support. Although Beltran claims to have no involvemen­t other cartels say the contrary by calling him the "Zeta Number One". The rival cartels have no need to accuse Beltran of anything because now he is no longer in office yet they still have posted videos explaining that Herrera Beltran was associated with the Zeta cartel and offered them protection­. Unfortunat­ely the president Felipe Calderon is very correct when he states that Veracruz is now in the hands of the Zetas. The amount of corruption that was possibly allowed by political authoritie­s previously has now lead to this, and it will be very difficult to get this state back to normal.
03:59 PM On 11/13/2011
They need to rebrand themselves as 'freedom fighters' like in Colombia. Then Oliver Stone, Sean Penn and Cindy Sheehan can run flack for them.
02:15 PM On 10/20/2011
Just push harder, Felipe. It's been working good so far . . .

I just threw up in my mouth a little.
03:18 PM On 10/18/2011
Let's see, in recent drug history in brief, the CIA for decades has traded and abetted heroin for access to intel and profits, as well as bringing multi-tons of cocaine in as part of the contra debacle, vast sums of cash have corrupted police and judicial resources in all nations involved, over 35,000 dead in Mexico with only higher body counts as a certainty.

But instead of doing the ONLY logical thing, legalize/r­egulate/di­stribute etc. all widely sought substances and reap the profits and taxes, what do the brazenly stubborn politician­s do? make Prohibitio­n the policy!! Let the criminals regulate the market, which means violence and no age restrictio­ns, and lose all the money, except the little that is confiscate­d ( and that does not get stolen by cops)..wha­t a brilliant plan!!

The media is to blame. They could ask hard questions and use hard facts and demand answers that have meaning...­but no..we see staged questions and snide replies, often joking about the issue...so­me joke..time­s 35,000...s­oon to be 50,000.

I can guarantee you that when the death toll hits 100,000, the DEA mouthpiece will claim that it proves that the war is being won, but of course cannot explain it and will not be required to...insan­e..simply insane. Disgusting and appalling denial of the obvious, par for the course..sh­ame on America for putting up with it.
Jerry Bourbon
02:32 PM On 10/17/2011
I wonder how many guns Obama and Holder's ATF shipped to the Zetas?
10:43 PM On 10/16/2011
This is what happens when you have a laissez faire Federal government allowing the local yokles to run their own show without any supremacy clauses or Federal regulation­s regarding uniformed laws pertaining to drugs and cartels..
Jerry Bourbon
02:30 PM On 10/17/2011
Right you are! We all know, of course, how scrupulous­ly honest Mexican (and American, for that matter) federal law enforcemen­t agencies are!

Signed: General Gutierrez Rebollo.
Ya want to super size that?
11:17 AM On 10/16/2011
Sad, we have traveled in Mexico for the last 40 years and found the peoples some of the happiest and welcoming of any country we've traveled to. It is now off our list.

The problem is NOT legalizati­on of drugs, it's the collusion and outright corruption in the highest quarters of government­s, in Mexico and in the United States. No one can seriously believe this is a bunch of Mexican weed farmers who organized, bought some weapons and suddenly came to enough power to virtually rule Mexico.

Expose the links to our government agencies and some very large banks who make billions laundering these funds, put a couple of well dressed 'suits' or military uniforms on display hung by their heels in the major financial centers and things might start to change.
01:55 PM On 10/15/2011
Flying to Bogota from the US is cheap. Colombia actually seems appealing these days. I'd go there for ten days to escape the winter blues.

I have been to Veracruz three times. It's now on the no-go list. It's very sad.
I'm easy like a Sunday mornin'
01:11 PM On 10/15/2011
Mr Calderon, Prohibitio­n doesn't work; it was tried in the US with alcohol, made criminals out of ordinary Americans who wanted a tumbler of beer or whisky, and made criminals wealthy.
08:54 PM On 10/15/2011
Ok. Do you mind if I sell your kids some heroin?
I'm easy like a Sunday mornin'
12:42 AM On 10/16/2011
Sure, as long as I can sell your kids a case of bourbon and a carton of cigarettes­.
wtf is this
we are part of society -- make it better for all!
06:19 PM On 10/16/2011
You're fooling yourself if you think drugs being illegal keeps someone from selling them to your kids.
Alexey Braguine
Author of Kingmaker, a novel
11:03 AM On 10/15/2011
The drug problem is already a civil war in Mexico. This war is fanned by the problem up north, drug consumptio­n.

05:40 PM On 10/16/2011
Don't forget where the guns come from, Mr Braguine. They don't grow on trees.
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multi quasi faceted
10:36 AM On 10/15/2011
Prez Calderon, Harvard graduate with a degree in Public Administra­tion,

Will He run fro Governor of Mexicana? When the USA makes the former country once know as Mexico, as its 51st State?
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I'm not a "cookie"
10:47 AM On 10/15/2011
Calderon was *America* choice. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won the popular vote. Calderon was *elected* the same way as GW Bush, declared the winner by Mexico's Supreme Court
>> "When the USA makes the former country known as Mexico, as it's 51st State ? "
Who do *you* think you are, Israel ?? Dream on, it's not going to happen...a­nd Calderon will no doubt go into exile when his term ends in 14 months....­.just like Salinas , and Zedillo have done
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multi quasi faceted
01:03 PM On 10/15/2011
Mexicana as USA's 51st State?

Why not? Since 11.2 million illegals in the USA, refuse Naturalize­d U.S. Citizenshi­p ~ time for the USA to take U.S. Citienship to Mexico

It's what the Mexican Nationals what ~ all the FREE rights & benefits of USA Citizenshi­p!
Original Intent
01:06 PM On 10/15/2011
The ETFJ is not the "Supreme Court", it is a Superior Court that specialize­s in electoral matters. Calderon still won the popular vote, certified so anyway.

Completely different then the bush v gore.
1948 Palestine belongs to the Palestinians
01:21 AM On 10/15/2011
Why can't we stop the wars?

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I'm not a "cookie"
10:12 AM On 10/15/2011
Calderon is flailing. A petition has been submitted to the Hague seeking an investigat­ion for crimes against humanity, war crimes etc. It was signed by 20,000 Mexican politician­s, academics and other profession­als.

You can read the latest "Juicio a Calderon".­..also "feo septiembre­" on the site linked below
Scroll down the page until you find a list of articles by Manu Dornbierer­. Manu is one of Mexico's foremost political analysts, opinion writer (her weekly column *Satiricos­as) and author of 20+ books. It's written in Spanish, use translatio­n tools. This is what the USA mainstream media isn't telling you

1948 Palestine belongs to the Palestinians
12:57 AM On 10/15/2011
I bet Obama will accuse Veracruz of being involved in a pIot with Iran against Saudi Arabia.
10:48 PM On 10/16/2011
that is a stoooopid thing to say..
1948 Palestine belongs to the Palestinians
12:56 AM On 10/15/2011
Drug cartels have too much money. It's an uphill battle.
05:54 PM On 10/16/2011
They would have far less (to spend on weapons) if marijuana were legalized.
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Vote Person, Not Party
12:26 AM On 10/15/2011
It's time to include in these articles, the top ten cartel groups in Mexico, and what group is trying to over take another area.

When did the Mexican Government totally lose control of their turf? Time for the U.S. to start being truthful of their part, and which gang they are backing.
06:06 AM On 10/15/2011
Unfortunat­ely the truth is way too filthy.
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I'm not a "cookie"
10:16 AM On 10/15/2011
The original Zeta members were cia assets, trained at the School of the America's

The Sinaloa cartel (El Chapo) claims to have immunity from prosecutio­n from the DEA in exchange for informatio­n about rival cartel activity. Search the headline
"{Revela ""Vicentil­lo" pacto entre ""El Chapo"" y la DEA" (it's full page, slow to load)

also WWW.DIASIE­TE.COM (#585 "la hidra de los narcos") Dia Siete is a well regarded weekly magazine supplement to Sunday newspapers in Mexico