• Connect with us on Linkedin

'Zetas Linked to Coal Mining in North Mexico'

A coal miner in Coahuila, Mexico A coal miner in Coahuila, Mexico

A former governor and PRI leader in Mexico has claimed that the Zetas have broadened their activities to include coal mining in the northern state of Coahuila, although evidence for this allegation is scarce.

Linkedin
Google +

In an October 26 press conference, former governor and ex-leader of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) Humberto Moreira told reporters that recently-killed Zetas leader Heriberto "Z-3" Lazcano had run illegal coal mining ventures in Coahuila before his death. 

According to Moreira, who served as governor of Coahuila from 2005 to 2011, Lazcano's involvement in illegal mining has been an "open secret" in the state for years, and the Zeta leader even sold coal to the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). Moreira also claimed that Lazcano was well-known for mining in the municipality of Progreso, where he was killed.

"[Lazcano] would go to the store to buy soda and chips. He did not walk around armed or anything; he was a miner. It may seem unbelieveable, but there it is," the former governor said.

InSight Crime Analysis

Moreira's statements come less than a month after his son was murdered, allegedly by Zetas hitmen.

The claims about Heriberto Lazcano's mining ventures fit with increasing concern in Mexico about the influence of organized crime on mining. With the government cracking down on drug trafficking, Mexican cartels are looking to the country's growing mining industry for revenue. Much of this has taken place in Coahuila, as it is Mexico's top mining state. In May, authorities discovered that criminal gangs had been directly running illegal coal mines in the state.

Moreira's theory would explain Lazcano's apparent lack of concern for his security when he was killed. As crime analyst Alejandro Hope has pointed out, the fact that he was relatively lightly armed and had only minimal protection when he was killed is puzzling. But if he had long been passing himself off as the owner of a mining company in Coahuila, he may have been in the habit of traveling with little security.

Linkedin
Google +

---

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We also encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, provided that it is attributed to InSight Crime in the byline, with a link to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

InSight Crime Search

The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas

InSight Crime Social

facebooktwittergooglelinkedin

Most Read

How Citizen Security is Changing in Latin America and the Caribbean

How Citizen Security is Changing in Latin America and the Caribbean

Faced with epidemic rates of violence, Latin American and Caribbean countries are expanding their investment in security and development cooperation. Many are doing so under the rubric of "citizen security." Citizen security implies a commitment...

Read more

Attempts to Purchase Colombia Rebel Drug Labs Show Sinaloa Cartel Expansion

Attempts to Purchase Colombia Rebel Drug Labs Show Sinaloa Cartel Expansion

Police in Colombia have arrested an operative from Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel who was attempting to buy cocaine laboratories from Colombia’s FARC rebels, in another sign the cartel is extending its reach further down the drug...

Read more

Costa Rica Ruling Could Open Door to Shark Finning

Costa Rica Ruling Could Open Door to Shark Finning

Conservationists in Costa Rica have reacted strongly to a court ruling that absolves a woman accused of shark "finning" and orders the compensation of a boat captain connected to the case, saying the judgment effectively...

Read more