MEXICO.- The highest ranking leader of the “Zeta” cartel, Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, is believed to have died in a confrontation against members of the armed forces, in the northern state of Coahuila, according to “strong evidence” informed today the Ministry of the Navy.
After the results of two autopsies that have already been performed on two bodies from the confrontation, there is “strong evidence indicating that one of the bodies is that of Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano”, a.k.a. “El Lazca”, leader of the Zetas said the Ministry of the Navy in a message.
Several citizens reported yesterday the presence of members of organized crime in the area of Progreso, Coahuila, in which orders were made to several units to go and verify the information.
As the units checked out the area, “the naval personnel were attacked with grenades thrown from a moving vehicle, which was the cause for a counter attack”.
In the confrontation two presumed criminals died, and one marine was wounded by enemy gun fire, but is in stable condition and his life is not at risk, which was informed through a report from the marines.
The naval personnel confiscated 2 rifles, 1 grenade launcher with 12 spare grenades, 1 small rocket launcher with 2 rockets ready for use and several cartridges for various fire arms.
The bodies of the dead criminals were turned over to the local authorities, along with all the weapons that were confiscated.
The Ministry of the Navy “is in coordination with the authorities from Coahuila, and they will be awaiting the results from the experts”.
The confrontation occurred one day after the armed forces arrested another Zetas leader, who had control of the northeastern part of Mexico, and also who is believed to be responsible for the death of 300 people, including 72 immigrants in 2010.
It is about Salvador Alfonso Martinez nickname “Ardilla”, suspected leader of the Zetas in the states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon and Coahuila who was arrested last Saturday in the border city of Nuevo Laredo.
Spokesmen from the Ministry of the Navy, Jose Luis Vergara, said that Martinez is also suspected in being involved in the prison break, which occurred in December of 2010 where 151 prisoners escaped from the Nuevo Laredo penitentiary, and also the escape of 132 inmates from the Piedras Negras prison that happened on this past September 17th.
These operations are due to the investigation of the murder of Jose Eduardo Moreira Rodriguez, son of Humberto Moreira who is the ex-president of the political party “PRI” (Partido Revolucionario Institucional).
The authorities of Coahuila have already talked about the possible connection of the murder of this young man of 25 years of age, with another confrontation the state police had with this group of criminals, where the nephew of the number two leader of the Zetas died, Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, a.k.a “Z40”.
The “Zetas” are a group that was formed back in 1999 by Mexican Army deserters, and were initially first part of the armed forces used by the “Cartel del Golfo”, but in 2010 they broke ties and started some of the bloodiest episodes of violence connected to the trafficking of drugs in Mexico.
Translation : Omar.Martínez@sandiegored.com