HomeNewsBriefCaballeros Gang Accuses Mexican Govt Forces of Abuse
BRIEF

Caballeros Gang Accuses Mexican Govt Forces of Abuse

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR / 13 JAN 2012 BY EDWARD FOX EN

The Caballeros Templarios drug gang have hung banners throughout the state of Michoacan, criticizing Mexico's security forces for alleged human rights abuses, in their latest attempt to win grassroots support from the population.

The 25 "narco-banners", hung in the cities of Huiramba, Morelia and Lazaro Cardenas, were addressed to Javier Sicilla who heads the Movement for Peace. The banners criticized the government for acting "outside of any legal authority [to] raid ... rob, rape and murder innocent civilians."

The Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar) called on President Felipe Calderon to distinguish between criminals and innocent civilians, stating the government should not use women and children as scapegoats.

The messages finished by asking for Sicilla's support in helping to stop Calderon carrying out what they said was a series of reprisals against the state's inhabitants for not electing his sister as governor.

Read Borderland Beat's translation of the full text of the messages.

InSight Crime Analysis

The Caballeros emerged in March 2011 when the Familia Michoacana gang split after its leader was killed by the government. The announcement of their arrival on the scene, like this latest message, came in the form of large, publicly placed notices, designed to appeal to the sentiments of the Michoacan public.

Like their predecessors in the Familia, the Caballeros try to send out the message that they are concerned to help ordinary people, and opposed to violence against those not part of the drug conflict. They also follow the Familia in their claim to be protecting the population of Michoacan against the oppressive forces of the central goverment.

The Familia had a degree of success in this quest for grassroots support, with demonstrations on the streets of Michoacan after Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, alias "El Chayo," was killed in December 2011, although it is questionable how far these kind of public displays may have been orchestrated by threats and how far by genuine sentiment.

The latest banner sounds like an attempt to co-opt Sicilia's peace movement, which could give ammunition to its opponents.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

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

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links 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.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

MEXICO / 15 FEB 2013

A Facebook page tracking security updates in the northern state of Tamaulipas has been threatened by an unidentified criminal or…

EL CHAPO / 24 FEB 2014

A US possible extradition request for captured kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman may soon be arriving on Mexican President Enrique…

BOLIVIA / 14 MAY 2015

Based on a new paper by Brookings conceptualizing the aftermath of a breakdown in the international narcotics control regime, InSight…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.

THE ORGANIZATION

Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.