Mexican drug cartel the Zetas’ Heriberto Lazcano was reportedly killed in a shootout, but the drug lord’s body is missing from a funeral home in the wake of the raid that law enforcement officials say was a major victory against drug cartels in Mexico.
Heriberto Lazcano’s corpse theft is the latest strange turn in the saga of the special forces deserter turned cartel bigwig, and the tale surrounding the stolen body is strange indeed.
After a shootout outside the town of Progreso in which the Zetas’ Lazcano and another man were reported killed near a baseball game, Coahuila Attorney General Homero Ramos says that armed men broke into the funeral home in which Lazcano’s body was held, fleeing with the corpse.
Lazcano was identified both via fingerprints and visual confirmation, and the Huffington Post describes the captured drug lord as a violent and dangerous man with a large bounty from both Mexican and US officials on his head:
“The Zetas, which Lazcano helped found with other deserters from an elite army unit, have carried out some of Mexico’s bloodiest massacres, biggest jail breaks and fiercest attacks on authorities …”
“Lazcano, who is also known as ‘El Verdugo’ (the Executioner), is suspected in hundreds of killings, including the June 2004 slaying of Francisco Ortiz Franco, a top editor of a crusading weekly newspaper in Tijuana that often reported on drug trafficking. Ortiz Franco was gunned down in front of his two young children as he left a clinic.”
Heriberto Lazcano’s Zetas drug gang was known for their brutality in an area of law enforcement that is generally brutal, and was linked with 49 headless bodies found near the Mexico-US border earlier this year.