Many skeptical top Zetas leader's death will change drug war

UTB Professor Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera

He was one of the most feared men in the Western Hemisphere but Mexican authorities are reporting that Heriberto Lazcano-Lazcano is dead.

The feared Zetas founder and supreme leader was reportedly killed in a gun battle south of the border in Coahuila.

But many here in the Rio Grande Valley are wondering what his death means for border security and the drug war.

Known by the cartel nickname El Lazca, Lazcano-Lazcano TMs body us missing after armed men stole if from a funeral home.

Brownsville resident Yolanda Medrano told Action 4 News that she TMs skeptical.

It TMs bought, Medrano said in Spanish. Because in Mexico everything is bought.

Despite published photos and fingerprints, many are wondering if Mexican marines really did kill the Zetas leader.

University of Texas at Brownsville Professor Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera is one of them.

The drug war expert told Action 4 News that photos without a body are not enough proof.

"This is making many people doubt that this is true or not, Correa-Cabrera said. In the social media, the comments on the newspapers, people are not believing what the authorities are saying.

Even if Lazcano-Lazcno TMs death proves true, Correa-Cabrera believes it would be an empty victory.

"First of all, we're only talking about one person in an organization that operates horizontally and in cells and sometimes with those cells not knowing each other, she said. "One person who's killed does not meant that we're going to solve the problem of drug trafficking in Mexico."

Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio said there's always another person to take a slain cartel leader's place.

He said it's more important to make sure teens stay off drugs and out of gangs.

"From high school level to junior high level, I think we need to work together, the churches and especially parents all working together, Sheriff Lucio said.

Back in downtown Brownsville, Yolanda and her friends said the death of Lazcano-Lazcano has little impact on their lives.

It will be the same for us here on this side, said a man who identified himself only as Pedro said in Spanish.

Mexican authorities continue to search for the body of Lazcano-Lazcano but no suspects have been publically named or identified.