Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dispute Zetas chief killed in firefight in Matamoros

Matamoros – When the leader of Mexico's most brutal drug cartel – Los Zetas – arrived downtown in a convoy of 130 SUV's, Gulf cartel sicarios were waiting for him Friday afternoon.

They opened fire in an ambush near the crowded corner of Avenida Lauro Villar at the Los Tomates International Bridge.

The resulting gunfire cut down Heriberto “El Lazca” Lazcano in the firefight as he attempted to flee. Members of the rival Gulf Cartel escaped with his corpse following the gun battle as widespread gunfire erupted across the border city, according to news reports.

Neither U.S., nor Mexican authorities have been able to confirm his death. The Mexican defense secretariat issued a statement disputing the report through its spokesman Alejandro Poire.

He issued his statement through Twitter amid numerous disputed reports over the same medium and similar social media, such as Facebook, the two communications media of choice in this ongoing war of nerves between drug smugglers. So-called “legitimate” media representatives have all but given up trying to report on the carnage due to the very real threat of retaliation by the gangsters.

U.S. sources unauthorized to speak to the issue confirmed that the firefight took place while motorized Mexican troops stood by and observed.

Mexican sources say that earlier on Thursday, Gulf Cartel troopers kidnapped 11 men and women of the Zetas faction following a shooting that day that left 13 people dead.

Los Zetas are former members of the Mexican Army's Special Forces who deserted to join the Gulf Cartel of drug smugglers for more lucrative pay, then split off from their jobs as enforcers and started their own cartel.

Their signature – spray-painted Z's at the site of massacres and gangland killings, and the severed heads of their enemies left on display – has spread throughout Tamaulipas. They have terrorized recalcitrant pockets of resistance and fought the Mexican Federal |Judicial Police and army for control of the border during a four-year reign of terror that has claimed the lives of an estimated 40,000 people between Tijuana and this Gulf Coast agricultural and manufacturing hub city.

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