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Blog del Narco: 41% of Mexicans Do Not Believe “The Lazca” is Dead

Blog del Narco: 41% of Mexicans Do Not Believe “The Lazca” is Dead

Photo: Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano

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Some 41 percent of Mexicans say Los Zetas drug cartel boss Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano did not die in a shootout earlier this month with marines and 33 percent say they are not sure whether or not to believe the version of events provided by officials, a poll released Tuesday said.

Polling firm Parametria found that only 26 percent of respondents said they believed the statement the “navy killed Heriberto Lazcano” in a shootout on Oct. 7 in the northern state of Coahuila following a “series of contradictions and inconsistencies in the case.”

The drug lord’s body was stolen by gunmen a day after the shootout.

Investigators obtained DNA samples before the body was taken, but the preliminary identification was made on the basis of fingerprints and information obtained in an examination of the body.

The height of the man killed in Coahuila, however, was different from that listed on Lazcano’s records, raising doubts in society about whether the government got the right man.

Some 76 percent of respondents said they heard about the death of the Zetas boss, one of the most-wanted men in Mexico, and 72 percent said they heard that the body was stolen.

The poll found that 47 percent of Mexicans believe the level of violence in the country will remain the same after the drug lord’s death, 31 percent believe it will increase, only 11 percent see the violence dropping and another 11 percent say they do not know.

The poll of 500 people, conducted Oct. 13-17, has a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent.

Investigators obtained DNA on Monday from the remains of Lazcano’s parents as part of an effort to confirm that the drug trafficker was killed in the shootout with marines.

Attorney General’s Office investigators dug up the graves of Lazcano’s parents and took DNA samples from one of the bodies, media reports said.

It is not known whether the DNA was taken from the remains of Lazcano’s mother or father.

Investigators spent nearly six hours digging in a cemetery in Pachuca, a city in central Mexico, amid tight security.

Genetic samples from the parents’ bodies will be compared with those taken from the man thought to be Lazcano before his body was snatched from the morgue by gunmen, officials said.

President Felipe Calderon confirmed earlier this month that the person who died in the gunbattle with marines was the feared Zetas boss, known as “El Lazca.”

The Mexican and U.S. governments had offered rewards of $2.3 million and $5 million, respectively, for information leading to the capture of El Lazca.

Lazcano deserted from the Mexican army in 1999 and formed Los Zetas with three other soldiers, all members of an elite special operations unit.

The shootout that killed Lazcano occurred a day after marines captured Zetas regional boss Salvador Alfonso Martinez, who allegedly ordered the killings of more than 300 people, including 72 migrants massacred in 2010 in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas.

After several years as the armed wing of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent criminal organization, went into the drug business on their own account in early 2010 and now control several lucrative territories.

Read more in Spanish at Blog del Narco