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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Mexican marines kill founder of Zetas drug cartel at baseball game, then lose corpse

According to the Mexican navy, whose marines have been among the most effective in Calderon’s capture-or-kill strategy, Lazcano and a driver were spotted Sunday at a baseball game in the small town of Progreso, about 75 miles west of the Texas border city of Laredo.

The navy said its marines were acting on reports of armed men in the area and sent out a patrol. When the marines confronted Lazcano, it said, the Zetas opened fire and began tossing grenades at them.

According to the state prosecutor, Lazcano was shot while running away from his disabled vehicle. The navy said its marines found rifles, a grenade launcher and a dozen grenades in the truck.

In retrospect, Souvenir Grenade Day may not have been the best promotional idea.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:51 PM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, drugs, general, international, mexico

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   1. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4260952)
Even drug lords watch baseball..see I knew it was the best game of all!
   2. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4260953)
Terrible security. I blame Frank McCourt.
   3. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4260959)
Just another Saturday night at Dodger Stadium...
   4. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4260966)
Even drug lords watch baseball..see I knew it was the best game of all!


Pablo Escobar was a big soccer guy. (The ESPN 30 for 30 movie on the subject, The Two Escobars, is outstanding and heartbreatking.)
   5. caprules Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4260971)
I was on a tour bus to visit Chichen Itza and we passed roadblock areas where the uniformed personnel were carrying sub-machine guns. That was a first for me.
   6. AT-AT at bat@AT&T Posted: October 09, 2012 at 07:23 PM (#4261011)
The navy said its marines found rifles, a grenade launcher and a dozen grenades in the truck.


if this was to have anything to do with baseball, it should read : ... marines found bats, a drunk pitcher and a dozen baseballs !

the escobar 30 for 30 flick is really something indeed !
   7. depletion Posted: October 09, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4261023)
At least it wasn't Philly. No one threw up on a little kid.
   8. squatto Posted: October 09, 2012 at 07:31 PM (#4261026)
There are some fairly interesting written accounts that touch on the development of the Mexican cartels. Charles Bowden's Murder City is a very impressionistic look at what's gone on in Ciudad Juarez. Despite that it covers a lot of ground. If you feel like you need a good dose of despair, I recommend it. He interviewed a sicario for Harper's. This'll give you a taste.

Back in the early '90's a friend of mine and I traveled through Mexico to Guatemala. While in Guatemala City we looked up the Guatemalan branch of the environmental group that we worked for and arranged to meet some of them. Most of them were veteran human rights advocates who'd survived the dirty wars, including having their office space blow up one day.

We spent a couple of hours in the office talking about this and that and it got towards supper time. We invited our colleague out for drinks and food and he agreed. As we walked down the street towards wherever it was we were going our colleague kept talking, describing the type of campaigning that he did. As he talked my friend and I got distracted when we noticed that a late model Mercedes sedan with black windows had pulled up about 10 yards behind us and was keeping pace with us as we walked. We turned a corner and the Mercedes did too. After about somewhere between five minutes and five hours of this - my sense of time was sort of screwed up at that point, but it was a couple of blocks at least - the sedan accelerated past us and blew through a traffic light.

My friend and I looked at each other, which we'd been pretty much afraid to do before then. Our colleague paused and pulled out a pack of cigarettes and asked if we wanted one. We each accepted one gratefully, and lit them with trembling hands. He continued talking before one of us finally blurted out something brilliant like "What the #### was that?!"

He shrugged, and gave a little smile. "Ejército. Narcotraficante. Lo mismo. They're just wondering what kind of gringo would be visiting." We drank heavily with him and some of his friends that night, and got back to our posada unscathed.

That was unsettling, and compared with what these guys went through day in and day out it was baby stuff.
   9. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 09, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4261032)
I was on a tour bus to visit Chichen Itza and we passed roadblock areas where the uniformed personnel were carrying sub-machine guns. That was a first for me.
My brother and uncle, in 1999, drove from Arizona to Cancun/Playa del Carmen. They had to enter Chiapas to get there, and that was the location of a checkpoint involving: 1. Two soldiers, in the bed of a deuce-and-a-half, manning a machine gun; 2. An officer, wearing not a uniform but a polo shirt and khakis.
   10. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 09, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4261036)
Also, didn't the MX marines not "lose" the corpse as much as have it seized at gunpoint?
   11. GregD Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:02 PM (#4261084)
Also, didn't the MX marines not "lose" the corpse as much as have it seized at gunpoint?
Yes, lose seems like a strange word to use
   12. AT-AT at bat@AT&T Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:15 PM (#4261103)
hey guys, we did it, we got the corpse !!
awesome, so now what do we do with it ?
i dunno ... ; me neither ...; maybe we can sell it to the A´s ?
oh, you mean because of the bernie stuff ?
yeah, let´s do this ! -cellphone beeps-
-the person you have tried to reach is temporarily unavailable-
damn, so now what ?
how about we bury it ?
greatest idea ever ! -Zetas give each other high fives-
camera fade out ... shovel on grave with sf giants cap on it !
   13. Srul Itza Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4261253)
Mexican marines kill founder of Zetas drug cartel at baseball game, then lose corpse


I hit, one error, one man left off base.
   14. bob gee Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4261260)
weekend at heriberto's!
   15. Bob Tufts Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:07 PM (#4261286)
The corpse was found hiding in plain sight as the left fielder for the New York Mets.
   16. Sheer Tim Foli Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4261289)
Srul wins!
   17. Bourbon Samurai Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:15 PM (#4261293)
I was on a tour bus to visit Chichen Itza and we passed roadblock areas where the uniformed personnel were carrying sub-machine guns. That was a first for me.


heh try going to Manila there will be dudes with sub machine guns in your hotel lobby
   18. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4261310)
You like baseball? We need lights for the parks, so kids can play at night. So they can play baseball. So they don't become burros para los malones. Everybody likes baseball. Everybody likes parks.
   19. Gamingboy Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:15 AM (#4261414)
The Corpse will be used as a hilarious gag by the Oakland Athletics to bring a whole new meaning to Bernie Lean.
   20. McCoy Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4261419)
They didn't lose the corpse, Theo signed it to a one year deal and he hopes he can flip him during the season for a young prospect or two.
   21. Barnaby Jones Posted: October 10, 2012 at 02:21 AM (#4261440)
I was on a tour bus to visit Chichen Itza and we passed roadblock areas where the uniformed personnel were carrying sub-machine guns. That was a first for me.


Well, I saw the same the last time I was at the National Botanical Gardens in DC. I now just assume everything will be guarded this intensely.
   22. Greg Schuler Posted: October 10, 2012 at 07:43 AM (#4261454)
The Mexican Marines are considered to be on the straight and narrow, unlike the police (local and federal) and even the army, who are regularly bought off by the cartels. Marines ask for and get the high profile missions and high priority targets. You will rarely see photos of Marines not wearing full face masks for security reasons - families have been threatened and killed in the past as a warning to the Marines. Of course, the Marines respond in kind and aren't known to take prisoners willingly. It's interesting since Marines typically wade into search missions loaded for the proverbial bear - their gun trucks are interesting pieces of engineering (akin to the F350s you might see in other Third World countries - mounted with as many weapons as can be carried).

Guys and machine gun stories - my wife and I were in Tunisia before the Arab Spring and we were near the mosaic museum, which is near the Parliament building. I was taken a picture of the museum when the armed guard (Steyr AUG, if we are keeping score) motioned us over, which we obeyed since rule one was listen to the guys with the guns. He checked our camera and the allowed us to continue without a bribe or remonstrance of any kind, but he kept an eye on us until we entered the museum. The AUG was unloaded (using clear plastic magazines helps to notice those sort of details) but he did have his bayonet fixed.
   23. Greg Schuler Posted: October 10, 2012 at 07:45 AM (#4261455)
Well, I saw the same the last time I was at the National Botanical Gardens in DC. I now just assume everything will be guarded this intensely.


Heck, the last MLS game I attended had police officers in SWAT gear patrolling the concourse - and that was for Philadelphia and New England. I know Chester, PA is crime ridden, but not that bad. Of course, they spent most of their time I saw them on their mobile phones.
   24. Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4261493)
I was on a tour bus to visit Chichen Itza and we passed roadblock areas where the uniformed personnel were carrying sub-machine guns. That was a first for me.


I encountered such a roadblock on the I-95 in northern Maine a few years ago......
   25. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4261497)
I've seen SWAT members at the local "classy" mall on occasion. I went to Egypt maybe a year or so after the tourist killings (late 90s). The nice hotel I stayed at had metal detectors and soldiers with AKs in the lobby. Every tourist spot had soldiers patrolling and on the Nile river cruise there were two soldiers sitting on the bow keeping an eye out. Egypt was great but couldn't exactly explore Cairo.
   26. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:12 AM (#4261499)
I was on a tour bus to visit Chichen Itza and we passed roadblock areas where the uniformed personnel were carrying sub-machine guns. That was a first for me.
I was in La Guaira, Venezuela about 20 years ago and had the same experience with what appeared to be local police walking down the street on routine patrol. Just bizarre.
   27. GregD Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:25 AM (#4261509)
The Mexican Marines are considered to be on the straight and narrow, unlike the police (local and federal) and even the army, who are regularly bought off by the cartels. Marines ask for and get the high profile missions and high priority targets. You will rarely see photos of Marines not wearing full face masks for security reasons - families have been threatened and killed in the past as a warning to the Marines. Of course, the Marines respond in kind and aren't known to take prisoners willingly. It's interesting since Marines typically wade into search missions loaded for the proverbial bear - their gun trucks are interesting pieces of engineering (akin to the F350s you might see in other Third World countries - mounted with as many weapons as can be carried).
Interesting. Friends have told me that they think the Army is actual honest, on the whole, but is stuck with deals made my civilian leaders and drug cartels. So if people around the President cut a deal with one cartel in order to get some measure of peace or to avoid anarchy spreading, the Army gets charged to enforce this corrupt deal, but the Army isn't actually the corrupt piece. That sounds wrong to you, though?

I actually don't fault the government for cutting deal with some cartels; policy has to begin with some measurement of reality. And some of the cartels are more powerful than the government right now. Starting with the premise that the government could eliminate cartels by being on the right side will lead you to disaster. So buying time and space to rebuild state power makes sense. The problem is how you disentangle government from cartels once you rebuild state power. The conspiracy theories around government-cartel relations are amazing and some no doubt are true. The idea that Guzman and the federal government are working together to subdue the other cartels is fascinating, though no one will ever know. I can see why a President would want a unified command structure among the narcos; having many competing groups is worse, from the state's perspective, than having one powerful but, at some level, accountable organization to deal with.
   28. squatto Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4261769)
Interesting. Friends have told me that they think the Army is actual honest, on the whole, but is stuck with deals made my civilian leaders and drug cartels. So if people around the President cut a deal with one cartel in order to get some measure of peace or to avoid anarchy spreading, the Army gets charged to enforce this corrupt deal, but the Army isn't actually the corrupt piece.

I think your premises are sort of messed up, if I read you correctly. Check out Bowden's work for material on how the cartels have penetrated the government, including the military. Remember that the Zetas were originally military before becoming muscle, then becoming players themselves.

As far as your attempt at realpolitik goes, I don't think that's how it has played out or how it's worked. At this point I think the only deal between cartel and government is an unofficial one, and that's to keep the killing out of the tourist areas. And that one's been getting breached.
   29. AT-AT at bat@AT&T Posted: October 11, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4264599)
camera fade out ... shovel on grave with sf giants cap on it !


forget the sf giants cap, cincinnati reds cap !

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