Friday, June 17, 2011

Special Report: STRATFOR Source Doubts Los Zetas Chief's Death in Mexico

According to El Nuevo Heraldo, Heriberto “El Lazca” Lazcano Lazcano was killed at approximately 2 p.m. local time June 17 in Matamoros, Tamaulipas state, on Avenida del Nino at the intersection with Lauro Villar. It was reported that the top leader of Los Zetas was killed during a running gunbattle involving Gulf cartel forces.

A separate report by El Universal citing Mexican military sources indicated that three were killed and nine were injured in a firefight involving Mexican soldiers and marines against members of Los Zetas and the Gulf cartel near the Tomates international bridge in Matamoros. Mexican military sources denied that Lazcano Lazcano was killed.

That the firefight happened in Matamoros, a Gulf cartel stronghold, raises significant doubts about the reports of Lazcano Lazcano’s death. Indeed, one well-placed Mexican government STRATFOR source has reported that Lazcano Lazcano has not been killed. Also, a STRATFOR U.S. counterterrorism source has indicated that the body that sparked the rumors of Lazcano Lazcano’s death is currently being fingerprinted and undergoing forensic testing, but from the U.S. source’s perspective it is not thought to be him. It should be noted that if Lazcano Lazcano is indeed dead, there could be intelligence that is being acted upon before a formal announcement is made. However, rumors of his demise could well be false.

New Mexican President, Same Cartel War? is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

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