*Without a Z
This post could also be titled, Weird News from the Mexican Drug War.
The Mexican Navy said its marines killed the leader of the country’s most ruthless drug cartel in a gunfight, identifying him by his fingerprints. But in an embarrassing twist, a state prosecutor on Tuesday said gunmen later burst into a funeral home and stole the dead man’s body.
The corpse’s theft raised doubts that the cartel leader, Heriberto Lazcano, had been slain. A U.S. official said the U.S., which had a $5 million bounty on Mr. Lazcano, was checking DNA samples provided by Mexico to confirm his identity.
Mr. Lazcano, known by his nicknames as “Lazca” or “el Verdugo,” (the Executioner), deserted an elite Mexican army unit and rose to head the Zetas, which is considered to be Mexico’s most brutal cartel.
The fingerprints matched, while Mexico’s navy said Wednesday that its personnel had no idea they had killed the leader of the country’s most-feared drug cartel until after his body was stolen from a funeral home in this border town.
If it really was him, Mexican Zeta Kingpin’s Demise Is Good News For America, Too. The Economist is optimistic, too.
However, Mex Files has his doubts:
Jorge Zepeda Patterson, viewing the widely distributed photographs of the presumably dead Herbierto Lazcano Lazcano noticed something weird… the guy has no ears. Side photos of the corpse clearly show he DID have ears, but in the head shot, they appear to have been cropped off… or they were photoshopped out. As it is, there’s a lot missing… not the least being the body itself. Lazcano Lazcano, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency, stood 1.72 meters tall; the body on the slab was was measured as being 1.60 meters. Obviously, someone should have taken a closer look, or checked again… but for unexplained reasons the body was released to a funeral home before the autopsy… which is mandatory under Mexican law when the suspected cause of death is homicide or suicide.
The missing corpse (and his missing six inches… and missing ears) are the least hinkey thing about this whole story.
 If you’re into dead gangster photos, they’re at: Semar difunde imágenes del presunto cuerpo de Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, líder de los Zetas
Which comes to show that posting on Latin America is not only a testament to my hard-headedness (since it doesn’t drive a lot of traffic), but also that there are ample reasons why magical realism is so popular in the region.