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US: Mexican Zeta Kingpin’s Demise Is Good News For America, Too – Investors.com

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Americas: Knocking off the kingpin of a monstrous drug cartel won’t end the war in Mexico. But the Mexican navy’s killing of Zeta boss Heriberto Lazcano is nevertheless a big victory — and not just south of our border.

Lazcano, who was gunned down just 80 miles south of Laredo, Texas, ran the most powerful, treacherous and violent drug cartel in Mexico.

A military deserter turned trafficker, Lazcano pioneered the most horrific spectacles of the drug war: beheadings; bodies dangling from bridges; heads posted on pikes, strewn across highways, thrown in front of schools, burned in cars and unearthed from mass graves.

Mass murder was another speciality. The Zetas directed a terrorist-style attack on a casino in Monterrey that killed 52, and slaughtered 72 mostly Central American illegal immigrants near the U.S. border. They are also assassins, targeting dozens of mayors, governors and editors in an obvious strike at Mexico’s democracy.

That litany of atrocities is what made them different from other cartels. Unlike, say, the Colombian Medellin cartel, the Zetas never built daycare centers or pontificated about human rights as a means of whipping up public support. Nor have they focused on buying off and corrupting public officials with payoffs as a core activity, as the still-rampant Sinaloa cartel does.

The Zetas are the cartel that dreams of being an army and its aim, more than others, has been to destroy the state. This explains why cartel goons stole Lazcano’s body — to show just how imperfect Mexico’s victory was. But it was a win, not just for Mexico but for the U.S.

The Zetas are classified by the FBI as “an enemy of the U.S.,” with Lazcano meriting a $5 million bounty on his head. That puts him in the top tier of terrorists, drug kingpins and mass murderers threatening the U.S.

The Zetas in fact have a large presence in the U.S. and eight other countries, not just dealing drugs, but smuggling illegal aliens, laundering money and challenging the state in as many ways as they can. U.S. police agencies warn that they have a large presence in Los Angeles and Chicago, the latter of which is becoming a battlefield, based on crime activities.

The Zetas have made the most threats against U.S. lawmen, and in fact were responsible for the death of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata in 2011. They have also murdered U.S. citizens, including innocent bystanders, such as the U.S. jet-skier killed at the U.S.-Mexican border in 2010, and conspired with Iranian agents to murder the Saudi ambassador on U.S. soil.

Most broadly, the Zetas have become a linchpin for Hezbollah, the Iranian-sponsored terrorist organization that’s been circling the U.S. from our south, setting up bases in Central America, and possibly in Mexico, as well as conspiring with indicted Colombian Lebanese banker Ayman Joumaa to launder Hezbollah-Zeta drug cash. A month ago, Mexico finally admitted that Hezbollah was operating there, as it arrested two of its operatives aligned with the Zetas in Merida, Mexico.

The death of the Zetas boss won’t stop every liaison the terrorists have made with Hezbollah. But as the Zetas weaken on the loss of their founder, and the prelude arrests of two top capos, the group breaks into more atomized cells, fighting each other. With that, trust breaks down, and Hezbollah has fewer reliable allies. That may be the biggest benefit of this takedown — terrorism loses an important confederate.

Source: Investors.com

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