Knights Templar Cartel
|Founding location||Michoacán, Mexico|
|Territory||Michoacán, Guerrero, State of Mexico, Morelos|
|Criminal activities||Drug trafficking, money laundering, kidnapping, racketeering, murder, arms trafficking, robbery, assault, counterfeiting.|
|Allies||Sinaloa Cartel, Gulf Cartel, La Resistencia, Gente Nueva|
|Rivals||Los Zetas, Jalisco New Generation Cartel|
The Knights Templar Cartel (Spanish: Caballeros Templarios) is a Mexican criminal organization composed of remnants of the defunct La Familia Michoacana drug cartel based in the Mexican state of Michoacán.
After the first alleged death of Nazario Moreno, leader of the La Familia Michoacana cartel, on 2010 the other cartel co-founders, Enrique Plancarte Solís and Servando Gómez Martínez, formed an offshoot of La Familia calling itself Caballeros Templarios (or Knights Templar). Dionisio Loya Plancarte would also join.
The Knights Templar Cartel indoctrinates its operatives to "fight and die" for "the free market". They have taken full control of the now-extinct La Familia Michoacana operations in states including Michoacán, Guerrero, the State of Mexico, and Morelos. Its armed wing is La Resistencia.
On 17 March 2012 in the state of Guanajuato, the Knights Templar Cartel put up several banners on bridges welcoming the Pope Benedict XVI, and pledging to not provoke any violent acts during the pope's visit. The 14 banners read the following:
|“||The Knights Templar Cartel will not partake in any warlike acts, we are not killers, welcome Pope.||”|
The banners were put up in the municipalities of León, San Miguel de Allende, Irapuato, Salamanca, Yuriria, Moroleón, and Uriangato. Other banners were allegedly signed by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel. Pope Benedict XVI was scheduled for a visit on 23 March 2012 in Guanajuato.
- Vega, Aurora (7 August 2011). "Surgen cuatro grupos del narco en 2011; El Chapo es el capo más poderoso". Excelsior (in Spanish). Retrieved 7 August 2011.
- McCAUL, MICHAEL T. "A Line in the Sand: Confronting the Threat at the Southwest Border". HOUSE COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
- "Mexico police raid 'La Familia drug cartel', killing 11". BBC News. 28 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Prevén arrecie lucha por lugar del 'Chayo' en Michoacán". Reforma (in Spanish) (Terra). 29 May 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
- Heffernan-Tabor, Kelly (29 May 2011). "Mexican Authorities Arrest 46 Suspected Drug Gang Members". WFMY News 2. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Con mantas, Templarios dan bienvenida al papa y prometen tregua durante su visita". Proceso. 17 March 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- (Spanish) ""Caballeros Templarios" ofrecen tregua por visita del Papa". Milenio. 18 March 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- (Spanish) "Caballeros Templarios le dan la bienvenida al Papa". Terra Networks. 17 March 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- "Pope's visit to Guanajuato puts spotlight on magical Guanajuato". The Washington Post. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
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