President Felipe Calderon told a gathering of journalists and celebrities over the weekend that a threat was made against the presidential aircraft early in his term and he took it so seriously that he recorded a message for his children in case he was killed, Mexican media outlets reported.

Calderon revealed the threat during a private event on Saturday to celebrate his 50th birthday.

The president said he decided to go ahead with a trip shortly after being inaugurated in December 2006 even though intelligence reports indicated a potential threat to the presidential aircraft.

"I decided to make the trip amid a very tight security operation. Before going, I recorded a message for my children in which I told them that if something happened to me, they should know that their father died doing what he felt he had to do," the president said.

Security officials uncovered a plot to attack the presidential aircraft during the first year of the administration, Calderon said, without providing details on who was behind the threats or how they planned to carry it out.

Dimas Diaz Ramos, a suspected Sinaloa drug cartel money man who allegedly planned an attack on the president, was paraded before reporters in August 2009.

The Sinaloa cartel is led by Joaquin "El Chapo" (Shorty) Guzman, Mexico's most-wanted man.

The Sinaloa organization, sometimes referred to by officials as the Pacific cartel, is the oldest drug cartel in Mexico and has an extensive drug distribution network in the United States.

Guzman, who was arrested in Guatemala in 1993 and pulled off a Hollywood-style jailbreak when he escaped from the Puente Grande maximum-security prison in the western state of Jalisco on Jan. 19, 2001, is considered the most powerful drug trafficker in the world.

Chapo Guzman tops the list of Mexico's 37 most-wanted criminals and is on the Forbes list of the world's richest people.

The Sinaloa cartel, according to intelligence agencies, is a transnational business empire that operates in the United States, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Americas and Asia. EFE