COAHUILA- Mexican Marines reportedly shot and killed the leader of the infamous paramilitary Zetas cartel during a firefight in the town of Progreso on Sunday. However, in a bizarre development the body of Zetas boss Heriberto Lazcano was stolen from a nearby mortuary at gunpoint in the early morning hours of Monday morning.
According to Mexico's Secretariat of National Defense, the Marines were responding to reports of armed men gathered outside of a baseball stadium in Progreso. When they arrived, gunmen moving in a small convoy threw grenades at them before the Marines returned fire, killing two of the gunmen.
Rear Admiral Jose Luis Vergara stated that the Marines had assumed that they had killed two low-level sicarios in the skirmish. Authorties took pictures of the two dead gunmen as well as fingerprints.
What reportedly happened next is a truly bizarre development. According to Coahuila Attorney General Homero Ramos, armed men broke into the funeral home in the early morning hours of Monday morning and stole the corpse of Lazcano and one of his accomplices.
The theft of the two bodies quickly turned what should have been a moment of triumph for outgoing Mexican president Felipe Calderon into an embarassment that casts doubt on the official version of events in a nation that has grown increasingly skeptical of both the police and media.
While the cult-like and largely dismantled La Familia Michoacana was sometimes known to take their dead with them while retreating from a firefight, there were no reports of them actively breaking into funeral homes or mortuaries to retrieve their associate's bodies.
The Zetas had been rocked by prolonged infighting in recent months- after splitting with the enforcers-turned-cartel earlier this year, former high ranking Zeta Ivan 'El Taliban' Velazquez Caballero was tracked down and arrested by Mexican federal police last month.
Miguel Angel Trevino- who also goes by the monicker Z-40- is said to be the heir apparent to the Zetas. In June, his brother was arrested by the DEA in a multi-state raid where he and others were accused of laundering millions in drug money through the purchase and training of racehorses.
Francisco Kjolseth / Salt Lake Tribune photoARIZONA- A preliminary investigation into the shooting death of a US Border Patrol agent has found that friendly fire was likely responsible. Agent Nicholas Ivie was killed on October 2nd as he and another agent were responding to a sensor along the border in rural Cochise County, AZ that was tripped in the predawn hours.
“There are strong preliminary indications that the death of United States Border Patrol Agent Nicholas J. Ivie and the injury to a second agent was the result of an accidental shooting incident involving only the agents,” FBI Special Agent in Charge James L. Turgal Jr. said in a statement.Agent Ivie is scheduled to be laid to rest in his Utah hometown on Thursday. Nicholas Ivie is survived by his wife, Christy and daughters, Raigan DeAnn and Presley Delna; his mother, Cheryl Ivie, father Douglas Ivie and step mother, Donetta Ivie; his siblings, Chris Ivie (Michelle), Andrea Davis (Todd), Rick Ivie (Corinne), and Joel Ivie (Anne).
Turgal didn’t elaborate on the agency’s conclusions but said the FBI is using “all necessary investigative, forensic and analytical resources” as it investigates the Tuesday shooting about five miles north of the border near Bisbee.
One of the other agents was shot in the ankle and buttocks, but was released from the hospital after surgery. The third agent was uninjured.
The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, which is assisting the FBI in the probe, said federal investigators used ballistic testing to determine the shootings likely were the result of so-called friendly fire among the agents.
While federal authorities declined to offer details of the shooting, George McCubbin, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said the three agents split up as they investigated the sensor alarm, noting they all fired their weapons.
“Coming in from different angles, that is more than likely how it ended up happening,” McCubbin told The Arizona Republic of the shootings.