HomeNewsBriefCapture of 'El Chayo' Brother Another Blow to Knights Templar
BRIEF

Capture of 'El Chayo' Brother Another Blow to Knights Templar

EL CHAYO / 19 FEB 2014 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

Two senior figures in Mexico's Knights Templar -- one of them the brother of the now semi-mythical figure of Michoacan drug lord El Chayo -- have been captured, dealing another blow to an organization left reeling by vigilante militias and the heightened attentions of the authorities.

Mexican Federal Police detained Heliodoro Moreno Anguiano, half-brother of Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, alias "El Chayo," in the municipality of Apatzingan, reported Excelsior. Self-defense groups reportedly identified Moreno Anguiano as he attempted to pass unnoticed dressed in a white shirt typically used by the vigilante groups.

According to sources from the Federal Police, Moreno Anguiano claimed not to know if his brother was dead or alive, saying he had not seen El Chayo since 2010, when police reported they had killed him but failed to recover his body. 

Juan Reza Sanchez, a co-founder of the Knights Templar who is suspected of overseeing the group's finances, was also detained in the state of Queretaro, reported Excelsior. Mexico's attorney general had offered $375,000 for information leading to the arrest of Sanchez, who was captured following an intelligence operation by Federal Police.

InSight Crime Analysis

The capture of Moreno Anguiano and Reza Sanchez are the latest setbacks for the Knights Templar, which has suffered repeated losses as a result of the offensive mounted by federal and vigilante forces against the group's stronghold in Michoacan. Intelligence work by Federal forces and offers of rewards for information may be a sign the campaign against the Knights Templar is still gaining momentum.

SEE ALSO: El Chayo Profile

Faced with this onslaught, the Knights have struggled to evade capture, likely in part because they have always maintained a high public profile through vocal and antagonistic propaganda campaigns. In this they have carried on the traditions of El Chayo, who employed similar mythical language and spiritual and religious messages while leading the Knights' predecessors, the Familia Michoacana. 

Following El Chayo's supposed death in 2010 he gained a cult-like following, with many believing he is still alive. Yet, if El Chayo were alive, it seems more likely that his brother would publically claim he was dead in order to discourage security forces from continuing any pursuit. The refusal of Moreno to acknowledge his brother's death may be an attempt to feed this legend and bolster support in local communities, especially as the Knights Templar continue to suffer setbacks. 

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

ARGENTINA / 29 JAN 2021

While unrest gripped much of Latin America in 2019, it was the coronavirus that took center stage and ripped through…

ELITES AND CRIME / 12 MAY 2021

Time appears to be running out for the governor of the US-Mexico border state of Tamaulipas – after lawmakers stripped…

FENTANYL / 22 OCT 2021

Fentanyl continues to wreak havoc on both sides of the US-Mexico border, as Mexican security forces continue to seize the…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…