Leader of Zetas Cartel May Be Dead

Mexican military says there is "strong evidence" Lazcano aka "The Executioner" was killed in a gun battle


MEXICO CITY—Mexican marines may have killed the leader of the brutal Zetas drug cartel in a gun battle in northern Mexico, in what would be one of the biggest victories yet in the government's six-year war on organized crime.

The Navy said late on Monday there was "strong evidence" Heriberto Lazcano had been killed in a firefight with marines in the northern state of Coahuila on Sunday afternoon.

If the death of Lazcano, alias "The Executioner," is confirmed, he would be the most powerful capo to fall in President Felipe Calderon's military offensive on the gangs.

The Zetas, considered one of the two most powerful drug gangs in Mexico, have perpetrated some of the most sickening acts seen in the country's drug war that has killed about 60,000 people during Calderon's term.