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The Mexican navy has reported that the founder and leader of the Los Zetas was killed in a firefight Sunday, October 7th, in Sabinas, Coahuila. Heriberto 'El Lazca' Lazcano, once the sole leader of the cartel but currently in a power struggle, is believed to have been shot dead during a confrontation with military forces.

El Lazca is believed to have been responsible for the 2004 murder of Tijuana journalist Francisco Javier Ortiz Franco. Ortiz Franco was a founder of Zeta magazine, which reports on organized crime in Mexico. While another man had claimed to have killed Ortiz Franco, many suspect El Lazca is responsible for the murder while on loan to the Arellano Félix Organization (AFO).

El Lazca was a top enforcer and hitman for the Gulf Cartel before challenging his prior employers for power of the Texas border. While working for the Gulf Cartel he was at times believed to have been sent to Tijuana to aid the AFO when the two organizations held an alliance.

Lazcano is believed to be responsible for hundreds if not thousands of murders across Mexico.

Further tests to confirm the identity of the body believed to be El Lazca are to be conducted.

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