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Zetas leader killed by chance, says Mexican navy

The Mexican navy admitted that it had no idea that its marines had killed Heriberto Lazcano, the leader of Mexico's feared Zetas cartel, whose body was subsequently stolen from the funeral home where it had been left. 

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This undated file photo, downloaded from Mexico's Attorney General's Office most wanted criminals Web page November 2010, shows alleged Zetas drug cartel leader and founder Heriberto Lazcano in an undisclosed location. The Mexican Navy says on Monday, Oct. 8, that Mr. Lazcano has apparently been killed in a firefight with marines in the Mexican northern border state of Coahuila.

Mexico's Attorney General's Office/AP/File

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The Mexican navy says a team of marines had no idea that they had killed the leader of the country's most-feared drug cartel in a gunfight that erupted when they tried to search a group of suspicious men outside a baseball stadium.

Rear Admiral Jose Luis Vergara is the chief navy spokesman and he said in radio and television interviews Wednesday that Heriberto Lazcano's body was left at a funeral home after Sunday's gunfight because marines believed he was just a common criminal and didn't suspect that had just taken down the leader of the Zetas cartel.

Vergara said authorities only realized they had killed a significant figure when armed men stole the body from the funeral home. Fingerprint testing confirmed the dead man was Lazcano.


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