Mon, Oct 15, 2012 - Page 7 News List

US knew of Zeta leader’s ID before body snatched

AP, MEXICO CITY

An official said marines had accompanied the bodies of the slain drug gang members to a funeral home in nearby Sabinas, though it is unclear what time. The marines left before midnight.

A Coahuila state forensics expert was called to the funeral home in Sabinas to process the body around 11pm on Sunday according to a state police official who was not authorized to speak to the press. The expert finished taking fingerprints and photographs about 12:15am on Monday, and sent the information to the federal attorney general’s office, the police official said.

A short-time later, gunmen forced the funeral home owner to take the body by hearse to an unknown location. The owner could not be reached for comment this week. Stealing bodies of fallen accomplices has been described as part of the Zeta culture, in which soldiers do not leave their comrades behind.

Lazcano was believed to be a devout Catholic who wanted a proper burial. An elaborate mausoleum in his hometown in central Hidalgo state stands near a chapel that bears a bronze-colored plaque reading: “Donated by Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, Lord, hear my prayer.” The plaque also says the chapel was built in honor of Pope John Paul II.

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