Head of Ruthless Zetas Cartel Arrested, Linked to Falcon Lake Shooting of US Citizen

By Catherine E. Shoichet. For more than two years, details about the investigation into who killed David Hartley have been as murky as the waters where his body disappeared.

His grieving widow told police that attackers shot him in the head on a lake that straddles the U.S.-Mexico border. She said she was forced to flee and leave his body behind.

Some blamed her for his death. Then the severed head of the case’s lead investigator was delivered in a suitcase to a Mexican military post.

The trail seemed to go cold until Monday, when Mexican authorities said they had arrested a leader of the ruthless Zetas drug cartel and linked him to the Falcon Lake killing.

Salvador Alfonso Martinez Escobedo also is a suspect connected to the slaying of the Mexican state police investigator who was heading the investigation into Hartley’s killing until he turned up dead himself nine days later, the Mexican navy said in a written statement. Read more from this story HERE.

Reuters Reporting that Head of Zeta Cartel May Have Been Killed by Mexican Marines

By Michael O’Boyle. Mexican marines may have killed the leader of the brutal Zetas drug cartel in a gun battle in northern Mexico, in what would be one of the biggest victories yet in the government’s six-year war on organized crime.

The Navy said late on Monday there was “strong evidence” Heriberto Lazcano had been killed in a firefight with marines in the northern state of Coahuila on Sunday afternoon.

If the death of Lazcano, alias “The Executioner,” is confirmed, he would be the most powerful capo to fall in President Felipe Calderon’s military offensive on the gangs.

The Zetas, considered one of the two most powerful drug gangs in Mexico, have perpetrated some of the most sickening acts seen in the country’s drug war that has killed about 60,000 people during Calderon’s term.

Two suspected Zetas gang members who attacked the marines with grenades from a moving car were killed in the gunfight and initial forensic tests suggested one of the bodies was the former soldier Lazcano, the Navy said in a statement. Read more from this story HERE.