Mexican Cartel Leader Killed by Marines

Published: 11 October 2012


The leader of Mexico's Zetas drug cartel, Heriberto Lazcano, was killed Sunday by Mexican soldiers in a gunfight outside of a baseball stadium, the Mexican navy reported Tuesday. 

It was not a targeted killing, and in fact authorities were unaware of their victim's identity for several hours, said Mexican navy spokesman Jose Luis Vergara on MVS Radio Wednesday. "For us it was two more criminals. We had no indication that it was Lazca," Vergara said. 

Authorities did not realize they had felled the leader of the cartel until early Monday morning, when Lazcano's body was stolen from the funeral home where it had been left for identification and burial, Vergara said. 

The body was allegedly stolen by armed men who broke into the funeral home early Monday morning, and only after it was stolen did authorities analyze fingerprints and photos they had collected while in possession of the body to find that it had belonged to Lazcano, according to various media reports. 

Lazcano is expected to be succeeded by Miguel Angel Treviño, who has been second-in-command to Lazcano for year. 

This incident came the day after marines arrested another Zetas leader near the Mexican border with Texas. Salvador Alfonso Martinez, alias "the Squirrel," was taken into custody on Saturday, the Mexican Navy announced