Photo: Alleged Corpse of Heriberto Lazcano
Mexico has it own real life ‘Day of the Dead’ mystery on its hands involving one of the country’s most ruthless thugs – Los Zeta founder and its jefe – Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano.
Did the Mexican Navy really kill him? Who stole his corpse from the morgue? Who gave permission to exhume the bodies of Lazcano’s parents for DNA samples? Why did the Mexican government need to get DNA proof when there’s no body to test and they claim to have fingerprint proof? Who is resting inside Lazcano’s massive mausoleum in Apan, Hidalgo? What role if any does the narco church of Our Lady of Sun Juan of the Lakes play in all of this? Why is U.S. DEA so quiet on this major narco death?
And those are just some of the questions associated with the October 7th killing of former special commando Lazcano on a baseball field some 70 miles south of the Texas border in Progeso, Coahuila.
The 37-year-old narco moved his way up the ranks from enforcer to drug trafficker to narco entrepreneur – creating one of the most ruthless cartels in 1999. The Zetas and Lazcano made a name for themselves with their trademark beheadings, bodies in acid baths, and mass killings and torture of kidnapped migrants from Central America. Wes Craven or Stephen King fictional horror stories can’t match the savagery of Lazcano and his henchmen.
This is in great part a mystery because of the actions of the very people in charge of security for the country. Mexican officials quickly claimed naval infantry had killed Lazcano as he casually watched a baseball game. They allegedly photographed the body and took his fingers prints right before unknown persons broke into the city’s morgue heavily armed and stole the corpse.
On October 16, President Felipe Calderon announced to his nation that ‘El Lazca’ was dead – this was his ‘Osama bin Laden is dead’ moment. It didn’t matter the missing corpse was shorter than U.S. official records on Lazcano show. Apparently it didn’t matter either that there was no body.
A week later authorities announce they were going to exhume the bodies of his parents leaving many wondering if Lazcano was really dead and whether Calderon lied. Others believe the U.S. quietly asked Mexico to make double sure. No one is quiet sure how the Mexican government obtained permission to exhume the bodies or how conclusive the genetic tests were.
Where ever the real Lazcano is, one thing is not a mystery his body will end up at the grand mausoleum at the Pachuca’s San Francisco Ejidal Cemetery he built in 2009. There will also be a solemn Catholic service for him at the church Lazcano built with narco money, Our Lady of San Juan of the Lakes.
Town gossip says Los Federales are hiding out in town to see if the mausoleum doors open or if there is a late night mass at Lazcano’s church. We assume Mexican officials plan on stealing back the dead corpse to conduct more identifications – or simply not to give the devil any peace.
Almost three weeks after Lazcano’s death at the hands of the Mexican Navy his body remains missing but light streams through the stain glass windows of his mausoleum.
This is a perfect tale for Halloween and Mexico’s Day of the Dead, scary if it weren’t so real.