Knights Templar’s Broken Lance

June 30, 2017 Crime , North America , OPINION/NEWS

AP photo

 

By

Ricardo Swire

 

Mexico’s Michoacan state motto is; “We Inherited Liberty. We Will Bequeath Social Justice,” a depiction of reassurance and social equality.

Today Michoacan is emblematic of Mexico’s serious internal security affront by organized crime and drugs trafficking. Early on Wednesday June 21, 2017 the Mexican Army received intelligence about unidentified gunmen assembled in the Paracuaro municipality of Michoacan. On arrival the military personnel were targeted by gunfire.

After a more than one hour shootout “El Cenzio,” the Knights Templars drug cartel top boss, was detained. He was one of the assembled group attending a meeting to discuss a truce with other armed organizations. El Cenzio arrived in Paracuaro, Michoacan traveling in a convoy of fifteen Sub Urban Vehicles that transported the gunmen, five of them, including El Cenzio’s chief bodyguard called “Cabezon,” also arrested.

Under El Cenzio’s leadership Knights Templar cartel boasts its largest domestic membership. Together with “La Tuta,” a jailed school teacher and top tier enforcer, they changed the criminal organization’s name from “La Familia Michoacana” to Knights Templar. The cartel uses religion for recruiting and retaining members. America’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) profiled another Knights Templar founding member “El Chayo” as a “self-fashioned spiritual leader” with religion as his recruiting tool, also used to galvanize strongholds.

The Knights Templar issues members with a twenty-two page “code book,” illustrated with cloaked knights bearing lances and crosses. The text written by El Chayo, who converted to evangelical Christianity while living in America. In 2013 and 2014 Knights Templar affiliates infiltrated Mexico’s Civil Defense Forces and Fuerza Rural police. The cartel’s unofficial information network of well-placed rogue government officials, tasked with advance notification of Federal and state enforcement missions, was assembled.

Knights Templars controlled a significant sector of Mexico’s Crystal Methamphetamine production and key shipping ports in southern districts. 2014’s multi-agency law enforcement operations successfully decelerated the Cartel’s momentum. In January 2014 senior member “El Toro” was arrested by Mexican Federal Police. In March 2014 “El Chayo” also known as “The Craziest One” and “The Doctor,” was killed again in a gun-battle with security forces assigned to Michoacan.

Four years earlier the Mexican government heralded El Chayo’s first death. At the time Mexican officials proclaimed El Chayo was “killed following two days of shootouts between security forces and criminal elements.” No corpse was ever produced. “El Kike,” the Knights Templars’ second–in-command, was killed in a gun battle with Mexican Navy personnel.

In December 2015 organized criminal syndicates, including the Knights Templar cell called “Viagras,” re-infiltrated Michoacan state. April 14, 2016 ended three days of Viagras led “narco-blockades.” Thirty-two vehicles, an Oxo Store, two Aurrera Stores and two Gas Stations were attacked and firebombed in three regions of Michoacan state. The scenario was Viagras cartel’s retaliation for the April 11, 2016 detention of fifteen members in Apatzinghan west central Michoacan.

 

 

 

 

Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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