Image: Tony Saca
Luis Romero  /  AP
President Tony Saca attends Mass riday in San Salvador, El Salvador.
updated 10/6/2006 9:42:04 PM ET 2006-10-07T01:42:04

Salvadoran President Tony Saca said Friday police had uncovered a plan to assassinate him by firing a rocket at his helicopter, and linked it to his crackdown on organized crime and drug gangs.

Saca said the plot had been masterminded by George Nayes, a Cuban-American deported last month to the United States, which wants to investigate his possible links to Colombian drug traffickers. Police backed up Saca’s claim.

“There was a attack planned against the president,” Saca said. “The aim was to fire at the presidential helicopter.”

“I want to send a message to these people who want to assassinate me, that they are not going to stop us and we are going to continue capturing drug traffickers and people involved in organized crime,” he told a news conference.

Nayes previously worked recruiting private security personnel in Iraq for an American company, police said.

Saca launched a campaign last August to try to stamp out violent street gangs or “maras,” putting thousands more soldiers and police on the streets.

The gangs, which grew out of Hispanic youth gangs in Los Angeles, have terrorized El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras in recent years.

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.


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