Mexican outgoing President Felipe Calderon on Wednesday praised the killing of Los Zetas cartel leader Heriberto “The Executioner” Lazcano, whose death was confirmed a day earlier.
Lazcano was killed while battling with marines in a shootout on Sunday in Coahuila, but his dead body was later stolen by an armed gang while it was at a funeral home.
“With this, Mexico has neutralized, during my government, 25 out of 37 of the most wanted criminals in the country,” Calderon said, reported the BBC.
The Mexican Navy confirmed that Lazcano, who was one of the dozen or so deserter special forces units to break away and form the Zetas a decade ago, was killed, citing fingerprint tests.
Rear Admiral Jose Luis Vergara told The Associated Press that the navy had no idea that they killed Lazcano. He said marines tried to search a group of suspicious men outside of a baseball game that turned into a firefight between them and Lazcano’s posse.
His fingerprints were taken and his corpse was photographed before it was stolen. Mexican officials said they were unaware that the body was Lazcano’s until after it was stolen, reported AP.Lazcano’s death represents a significant milestone in Mexico’s war on drugs, which President Calderon helped escalate by directing the army against cartels in 2006. Tens of thousands of people have died in drug-related deaths since then.
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.