Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Man Who Turned on Lazca

By ACI - Borderland Beat
In 2010 Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano was in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.  His movements were being traced through a currupted Nextel number.  The only reason this is known is because of a man named Pedro Vazquez Torres ' el perro' or the dog.  El Perro was part of Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano inner ring of security.  It was said he rarely ever left Lazcano’s side but on the day of his death El Perro was absent.  While the accounts of what occurred that day differ widely, the following is what is believed to be true. 

On October 7, 2012, Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano was attending a soccer game in the town of Progreso, Coahuila.  As Lazca was watching the game he had little clue as to what was taking place around him.  A contingent of Mexican Marines was moving in on Lazca’s location, surrounding the entire area. 

The Mexican Government claimed someone had called in a tip about gunmen at a soccer game.  This has been hard for many to believe.  Some have speculated that perhaps he was set up by Z-40, another powerful leader of the group.  While I cannot say for certain, I have confirmed what I believe is closest representation of the truth.  Lazca was turned in by his inner ring of security, possibly with the green light from Los Zetas.

Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano was known to use several layers of security at any given moment.  He was supposed to be alerted anytime anyone hostel was in the area.  If the Military was moving anywhere in the state Lazcano should have gotten a phone call.  The fact that Lazca was unaware of the military presence in the area suggests every layer of his security failed.   He fell in a hail of bullets not far from the soccer field, shot by elements of the Mexican Miltary.  He was killed with his lone body guard Mario Alberto Rodriguez Rodriguez.   

There is very little information regarding Pedro Torres Vazquez.  Most of the information presented in this story comes from a confidential file created by Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional or SEDENA.  He became part of Mexico’s notorious Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales (GAFE) in 1999.  The GAFE is a branch of Mexico’s Special Armed Forces.  Los Zetas were originally founded by a group of deserters who originated from GAFE.  A Proceso article mentioned his name incorrectly but did state he also worked on communications for the group.

Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano continued to favor those who had been part of GAFE.  Many druglords turn to highly experienced security professionals for protection.  It is also not surprising that many of these professionals are ex-military.  These security professionals generally serve as the inner ring of security, however have also tended to rise quickly within the criminal organizations.  

Employing ex-GAFE member has been a long standing tradition within Los Zetas.  It was Lazcano’s boss Osiel Cardenas of the Gulf Cartel who originally began the militarization of the Mexican Cartels.  A move he made out of paranoia and fear for his own life.  Within Los Zetas the practice of recruitment continues to this day, though not a prevalent as it has in the past.  One particularly bold example of this was when Los Zetas hung banners recruiting anyone with military experience. 

What is known:

             SEDENA had a file on el Perro since at least 2010

             In June of 2010 DEA had a working Nextel number for Lazca

             In June 2010 Lazca was in San Louis Potosi, the DEA was aware of this

             Lazca was killed in October 7, 2012 under suspicious circumstances

             El Perro was not with Lazca when he died