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Mexican police display guns and cash seized from the Zetas drug cartel in previous raids.
Mexican police display guns and cash seized from the Zetas drug cartel in previous raids.
Image: Eduardo Verdugo/AP

Mexican drug lord's body stolen from funeral parlour

Mexican police killed Heriberto Lazcano and an ally in a shoot-out – but now their bodies have been nicked.
Oct 9th 2012, 7:19 PM 10,373 16

A MAJOR COUP for the Mexican authorities turned to embarrassment today, when it emerged that the body of the slain leader of the Zetas drug cartel had been stolen from a funeral parlour.

Heriberto Lazcano’s corpse and that of another man were taken to a funeral home in the town of Sabinas in the northern state of Coahuila shortly after they were killed in a shootout on Sunday with naval special forces.

Coahuila state prosecutor Homero Ramos told a press conference in Sabinas that a gang of heavily-armed men wearing face masks later entered the parlour and subdued the staff.

“They took the bodies, stuck them in a hearse, and made the owner drive it off,” Ramos said.

The Mexican navy, which conducted the operation against the Zetas leader, said fingerprints had been used to identify the body as Lazcano’s before it was stolen.

Officials said Lazcano and another man, identified as Mario Alberto Rodriguez, were killed at a baseball field near the Coahuila town of Progreso when the van they were in came under fire from Navy troops.

One man was behind the wheel when he was killed and the other was shot as he tried to flee, Ramos said, without clarifying further.

Lazcano, aka “El Lazca,” was one of two main leaders of the divided Zetas cartel and one of Mexico’s most wanted men with a $2.6 million reward on his head. The United States had set its own award at $5 million.

US authorities say the Zetas are one of Mexico’s most powerful drug gangs alongside the Pacific region’s Sinaloa federation, led by fugitive billionaire Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Much of the northeast is in the clutches of the Zetas cartel, which was founded by former Mexican special forces soldiers who went rogue and is known to decapitate and dismember its enemies.

- © AFP, 2012

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