The first word from any official in the United States, added is an article which may explain who began the rumor that the body was not Lazca, it follows this first article....
|Its Lazca says an US official|
DNA samples have confirmed that the man killed in a shootout with Mexican marines earlier this month and whose body was removed from a funeral home the following day was Heriberto Lazcano, the head of the Zetas drug cartel, a senior US diplomat said on Monday.
Mexico said it intends to exhume the druglord's parents to verify the genetic match, but William Brownfield, the US state department's top drug policy official, said Washington was already sure that the dead man was Lazcano, and that his killing reflected the Zetas cartel's implosion and a possible turning point in the war on drugs in Mexico.
"We know they got this guy because they were able to pull enough DNA off the body before the body was retrieved from the funeral home where it was obviously not carefully secured," ambassador Brownfield, the US assistant secretary of state for the bureau of international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, told the Guardian during a visit to London. "So there is near 100% certainty that he is gone."
"The Zetas are on the run," Brownfield said. "They are being pounded by the Mexican government which has devoted a lot of attention to the Zetas because, among organizations that are incredibly vicious and bloody the Zetas are probably the worst of them.
|Marker at his mausoleum|
Brownfield said that as a consequence of this two-sided assault, the most formidable narcotics organisation in Mexico, is now in its death throes.
"I lived through this with the Medellin and the Cali cartels and I think I know what the death throttle of a dying drug cartel sounds like, and it sounds like indiscriminate killing and ... a decapitation of your command and control so 19 year-old kids with virtually no education whatsoever are making decisions. It sounds like parts of the organisation turning on other parts of the organisation," the US diplomat said.
Brownfield, a long-serving ambassador in Latin America, predicted that a rival cartel would now wrest the Zetas' dominant position in the drugs trade, and that US and Mexican policy would then be to target the usurper, and so on, until the trafficking gangs were forced elsewhere.
"You take them down one by one. You don't try to take on all organised crime at the same time and you whittle them down until the target has been neutralised and to a large extent killed off by fellow criminals. And then you pick your next target and you do that two or three times and then eventually the law of market economics come into play and the criminal organisation says [this is getting] really expensive … and they say let's go do business somewhere else," Brownfield said.
"That is when Mexico will become a much more peaceful and livable country. My own view is we are already crossed the point of return. It will probably be two years before we know for sure, but my own view is that we hit that turning point during the course of this year in Mexico." He said that cocaine consumption in the US had dropped 40% over the six years and Colombian cocaine production has dropped by more than a half over roughly the same period.
Adam Isacson, of the independent Washington Office on Latin America agreed that the drug wars were becoming less bloody but cautioned that the flow of drugs northwards has been largely unaffected, with marijuana and heroin taking the place of cocaine as American tastes change. "The violence statistics are beginning to go down and in a few years they may be substantially down, but I would be surprised if the flow of drugs through Mexico are very different from what they are now..
"What is happening is that you are seeing less violence often through the different configuration of the cartels who are choosing to go about their business in a different way. It is a grim grinding war of attrition, but it shows you can change the cartels' behaviour to be more pacific, more discreet, using bribery for example more than violence."
Colombia still supplies the overwhelming bulk of cocaine bound for the US. Most is flown out through Honduras, from where it is sent on by river and road through Mexico, making the country's lawless northern jungle the new front in the drug war.
Brownfield compared the battle to close the flow of drugs into the US to squeezing a balloon. "In 2000, we squeezed the balloon hard in Colombia. One impact thereof was to push trafficking organisations to move their operations to Mexico.
"Four years ago, we began to squeeze that balloon hard in Mexico and the logical result is a transfer of their operational bases to Central America. Beginning this year we are beginning to squeeze pretty hard in the northern triangle of Central America: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras."
Brownfield said that pilot schemes in Guatemala and Honduras, in which community aid and police support are focused on "model precincts" had been proven to be effective. But US joint operations in Honduras have been suspended after the Honduran air force shot down two small planes, and US counter-narcotics agents got involved in firefights in which civilians were alleged to have been killed. "They jumped out of the gate a bit fast and now they have had to put it on hold," Isacson said.
Brownfield said: "I agree it takes time. At the end of the day the one thing I would suggest is: we don't have to create paradise in Central America to drive the traffickers away. We only have to increase their costs of doing business by about 10% and at that stage the law of market economics takes over and they'll move their business away."
Thank you for the heads up to my buddy Tex in Mex
Violence in Matamoros and the search for Lazca
Who began the rumor that the body was not that of Lazcas? I will state a disclaimer that though this is plausible, it has not been confirmed by a named official..I tend to react to unnamed sources with a grain of salt. That does not imply it could not be true. I will also state that a Customs/Border agent has been in communication with me and he says there has been a explosion of violence in Matamoros in the past two weeks as the search for Lazcas body was being conducted. The agent is a reader of Borderland Beat. He stated that scores of people have been killed and that he personally has checked in at the POE of Laredo nine vehicles that had signs of being caught in a shootout with bullet holes in the vehicles, and two recovery agents were injured in one of the shootouts.
According to DEA, it is a strategy for protection from rival groups
Due to the announcement of the death of the drug trafficker Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, “El Lazca”, a high traffic of phone calls and communications were registered on the Texas Valley towards Mexico between members of the Zetas and relatives that have establish temporary residency in that area. The calls inficate they have denied the death of the gangster, as an strategy for protection in front of rival groups. By establishing the rumor disclaiming the body as being that of Lazcano, the action would caused confusion and uncertainty in rival cartels, such as CDG and CDS (and KT), as they reorganize the premier level of the Los Zetas cartel.
It is information given by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Since two years ago, South Texas Valley has been used by cells of this gangster as an area for temporary shelter for sicarios, as well as for some of his relatives or sentimental partners, indicated by the information.
“Just as it happened in Mexico, members of the group of El Lazca have made phone calls to different people assuring that their boss hasn’t died and even have warned of prompt news, but we believe that part of it is a strategy to protect from rival groups. It’s a different management than what was seen with the death of Amado Carrillo”, explained and agent of U.S
They are being monitored
During Sunday night October 7th, associates of Heriberto Lazcano used communication radios, cell phones and encrypted equipment to establish contact and asked about the incident.
“Part of the fear was that they were unprotected, they were afraid to be object of a vengeance or even that the authorities that Lazcano paid would leave them unprotected.. The reaction is also sustainable for fear to the new leaders, the brothers Treviño Morales.
After the diffusion of the announcement in the Texas Valley, calls from Mexico were made especially to individuals that have been monitored months ago, about the death of Lazcano and later linked to Mexico to know what was going on and what they should do, he added.
“We know that in Mexico, calls have been registered between members of the group of Lazcano assuring that he wasn’t dead, the Mexican authorities have audios of those communications, and in some cases the same relatives of Lazcano have spread that information”, he pointed out.
He also revealed that “ in the last months, the members themselves have exchanged information about an alleged son of “El Lazca”, that lives in the Texas Valley, but this is an information that has not been confirmed yet, but there is an investigation in process about his activities”.