Andres R. Martinez
Dec. 24, 2008
Mexican President Felipe Calderon hailed eight soldiers who were decapitated in Guerrero state as heroes who died at the hands of criminals growing increasingly desperate amid his government’s crackdown on drug cartels.
The heads of eight soldiers and a former police chief were found Dec. 20 in a plastic bag in Guerrero’s capital of Chilpancingo on Dec. 20, El Universal reported. An unsigned message attached to the bag said 10 more soldiers would be killed for “each of us that is killed,” the newspaper reported.
“They are capable of committing any barbarous act,” Calderon said today, according to a transcript of his speech sent by e-mail. “Organized crime, filled with panic, has turned to all kinds of cowardly acts.”
Calderon has sent thousands of troops to battle drug traffickers that have killed more than 5,300 people this year as they fight for larger pieces of the $14.8 billion trade in marijuana, cocaine, heroin and amphetamines bound for the U.S.