Mexico's Most Dangerous Cartel Leader Is Dead. What Now?

Jorge Chabat is a politics professor at Mexico City's CIDE university. He focuses on international crime networks.

Chabat said that killing El Lazca was symbolically important for the Mexican government, because through this action, the government tells drug lords that they will have to pay for their illegal actions.

But Chabat added that El Lazca's death would not instantly lead to the dismantlement of the Zetas group.

"They have lots of members, and lots of cells operating throughout the country," Chabat said. "But in some way the coordination [of the group] achieved by El Lazca will be affected, and that could negatively impact that cartel's operations," Chabat said.

Chabat warned that violence in territories controlled by the Zetas could increase, as members of the group wage a war over leadership of the organization.

"There was already violence due to confrontations between El Lazca and [number two leader] Miguel TreviƱo," Chabat said. "This operation marks a significant advance [in the struggle against cartels] but it's not enough."

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