October 11, 2012

Mexico Pleads Ignorance After Lazcano Heist

The killing of Heriberto Lazcano must inevitably grow more bizarre before receding to some measure of normality. Los Zetas's deceased commander, as previously suspected, wasn't tracked down so much as bumped into by Mexican Marines last Sunday, according to multiple authorities. This information has become critical to the government's explanation of why Lazcano's body disappeared in the aftermath. In a series of Wednesday interviews, Rear Adm. Jose Luis Vergara said that Lazcano was left at a local funeral home in Progresso because the Marines believed him to be "just a common criminal."

“For us it was two more criminals, he told MVS Radio. "We had no indication that it was ‘Lazca."

The government would doublecheck its forensic tests after masked gunmen stole Lazcano's body and supposedly matched his fingerprints. However this process is hardly trustworthy. Why didn't a convoy of Marines recognize Lazcano's bodily appearance - one of the military's most analyzed targets? Police and government corruption runs so high that one cannot be sure of anything they say, or rule out any possibility. Suspecting corruption seems reasonable; depositing Lazcano at a local funeral home is akin to leaving Osama bin Laden's body in a Pakistani mosque. This scenario doesn't make sense with the current information. Furthermore, both the Navy and outgoing President Philipe Calderon have stopped short of unequivocally announcing Lazcano's death.

"Information was obtained after the first forensics tests were carried out that yielded indications that suggest that one of the bodies is Heriberto Lazcano," the navy's statement said.

Equally interesting is the Navy's confidence in Miguel Angel "Z-40" Trevino's ascension to Los Zetas's throne. Attempting to downplay fears of another violent turf battle, either inside or outside Los Zetas, Vergara told Reuters that the government is not expecting a dispute over the group's leadership. The hardened Trevino, he says, is a "natural" successor to Lazcano. Unfortunately a stable Los Zetas still means an unstable Mexico.

"We don't think that there will be violence due to a battle between them for power, since we think that Z-40 is definitely taking the lead," Vergara told Reuters. "From what we know, the most bloodthirsty of them was Heriberto Lazcano, there's no doubt about that. I think his downfall should help curb the violence in our country."

Mexico's Navy sits in an disadvantageous position after failing to immediately identify Lazcano and losing his body. These failures do not engender trust in the government's other analyses.

[Update: U.S. knew Zeta leader's identity before body stolen]

No comments:

Post a Comment