A photo of what is believed to be Lazcano's dead body on the forensics' table (Twitter)

A week after Mexican authorities announced his death to the world, drug lord Heriberto Lazcano is still causing turmoil as speculation that he is still alive gains ground on Mexican blogs and in official media.

The body of "El Lazca", one of the two most wanted man in Mexico and the leader of the Los Zetas gang, was snatched from the morgue within hours of his alleged death at the hands of security forces.

The truth about El Lazca, also known as El Verdugo - The Executioner - has become a national issue in Mexico.

Even former president Vicente Fox said his death was a sham.

"I don't know how [the government] think we will swallow a hoax like this story of El Lazca," Fox told local newspaper Excelsior.

"[El Lazca's alleged death] was so badly handled and demonstrate how they are interested only in showing off in front of the public, saying things are working without any back-up"

According to Mexican authorities, Lazcano was shot dead in an exchange of fire with Mexican Navy marines in the northern state of Coahulia.

At the time of the killing the marines were not aware of the identity of their target and thought they had gunned down a common criminal, the navy said.

According to the official account, security forces had been tipped off that unidentified armed men were at a baseball match in the town about 125km south of the Texan border.

As marines arrived at the stadium, El Lazca and two of his men opened fire and tried to escape in a van. They hurled grenades at their pursuers.

Lazcano was killed together with a second suspect. The third man escaped.

The two corpses were taken to a funeral home waiting for fingerprint identification.

Before El Lazca identity could be confirmed, however, a commando of armed men snatched the bodies.

That sparked rumours whether Lazcano had been shot dead in the first place. He was erroneously said to have been killed in a shootout in 2007.

Pathologists said that the height of the man at the centre of the mystery was 1.6m but according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, Lazcano was actually 1.8m tall.

The Mexican Navy made a quick U-turn to rectify the data, saying that the first measurements had been "approximate" but it was 100 percent certain that the body was that of Lazcano.

But rumours started to ripple across the web.

Some theorists asserted that he had been captured alive by police and was cooperating with security forces who had fabricated the story of his death to protect him from retaliation.


The publications of photos of Lazcano dead on the forensic surgeon's table only add to the doubts.

In one close-up, he is missing both ears, which are very prominent in pictures of him alive. Police surgeons said he underwent cosmetic surgery years ago to improve his look.

One local newspaper, La Vanguard, published an anonymous report by some self-styled experts claiming that the photos made clear errors in the post mortem examination report.

And the blog MundoNarco published a picture of someone they claim to be Lazcano, alive, sitting on a dead zebra, days after he was said to have been killed.

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Lazcano on his zebra
Lazcano on his zebra