It looks like there may be a resounding victory for the Mexican government in its seemingly endless struggle against the drug cartels. The leader of the Zetas cartel, Heriberto “The Executioner” Lazcano is dead at the hands of government marines. The Zetas are currently the largest and most powerful cartel in the country and this blow to their leadership may help in bringing them to a quicker end.
Lazcano was one of the most wanted men in Mexico, so much in fact that the U.S. had offered $5 million for his capture. What makes the story even more interesting is that the killing was unknown for some time, as no one knew who he was. The marines responsible were trying to search a group of suspicious people at a baseball stadium, but the standard procedure turned to violence when the people started throwing grenades. The marines fired back and killed a few people, one of them being Lazcano. They might never have known it was him if not for the fact that some armed men later broke into the funeral home where the body was being stored and stole it. Police then decided to check the body’s fingerprints and discovered the truth.
This comes at a time when the drug wars are heating up rapidly. The city of Progreso, where the firefight occurred, has gotten so bad that they can’t even keep a police force there. No one will offer to work in law enforcement and thus government marines are expected to keep the peace.
This one lucky break has the potential to be devastating to the Zetas or reinvigorate them. The next in command is a man named Miguel Angel Trevino and he’s known for being even more brutal and violent than Lazcano was. There’s a chance that there will be a struggle over the power vacuum left by the former leader’s death, which would not only keep the Zetas busy for a time, but would also significantly reduce their numbers in the ensuing violence. Hopefully it tends toward the latter, as retaliation from a stabilized Zetas could be very bloody.