Mexican Journalist Accuses Former Presidents of Links to Drug Cartels

By McCarton Ackerman 07/21/14

Anabel Hernandez has leveled explosive accusations that have resulted in one of the best-selling non-fiction books in Mexico.

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Despite more than 80 journalists in Mexico being shot, stabbed or killed since 2006, one prominent reporter has stepped up and accused numerous Mexican presidents of having links to drug cartels.

Anabel Hernández’s book, Los Señores del Narco, translated into English as Narcoland, has sold over 200,000 copies and become one of the best selling non-fiction books in Mexico. Her work has accused Vicente Fox, who led Mexico from 2000-2006, and Felipe Calderón, who ruled from 2006 to 2012, of having links to drug kingpins including former Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin “Chapo” Guzmán. She has also insinuated that the Sinaloa Cartel is continuing to grow up in power under current leader Enrique Peña Nieto.

However, her success as an author has come at a high price. Her home has been broken into on several occasions, and she has endured constant threats against both her and her children. Police in Mexico City have since provided her with protection, which will be especially needed as she gears up to launch a new edition of her book later this summer.

“Corruption in Mexico is pyramidal and from the presidency it permeates other institutions,” said Hernández, whose own father was kidnapped and murdered in 2000. “The principal public officials and politicians that have been part of this system are still in power. They are deputies, senators, governors and others. I am convinced that this war on drugs was never real. Its only intention was to protect the Sinaloa cartel and attack others."

The current and former presidents accused by Hernández of having cartel connections have denied those relationships, but have never sued for slander; she insists it’s because they can’t prove otherwise. But while Hernández doesn’t support drug legalization, she wants the targets for the war on drugs to be revised completely.

“To have a true war on drugs we need to investigate the big world banks, put all the money launderers in prison,” she said. "The war on drugs is not with a pistol or an AK-47. The war on drugs has to be financial.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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