HomeNewsBriefMexico Mayor's Arrest Signals Ongoing Knights Templar Threat
BRIEF

Mexico Mayor's Arrest Signals Ongoing Knights Templar Threat

ELITES AND CRIME / 29 APR 2014 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Authorities in Mexico have arrested the mayor of Michoacan's principal port city for alleged Knights Templar ties, in an illustration of how embedded this criminal group is in the southwest Pacific state, and how hard it may be to eradicate their influence.

Arquimedes Oseguera, the mayor of Lazaro Cardenas, was detained on charges of kidnapping, extortion and drug ties. He has been accused of maintaining relations with Servando Gomez, alias "La Tuta," the leader of the Knights Templar, reported Milenio.

According to security commissioner Alfredo Castillo, Oseguera's arrest came as a result of investigations carried out by the Attorney General's Office.

City treasurer Omar Alejandro Soto was also arrested for allegedly abetting the mayor, reported Animal Politico.

Oseguera is the second Michoacan mayor to be arrested in April, after the mayor of the town of Apatzingan was also recently detained for alleged organized crime ties and extortion.

His arrest occurs as authorities move to disarm the state's vigilantes. The campaign began April 28 in three of the 27 municipalities where these groups operate, and 800 arms were registered on the first day, according to Milenio.

InSight Crime Analysis

Michoacan's semi-legitimate vigilante groups emerged in 2013 with the stated mission of combatting the likes of extortion and kidnapping at the hands of the Knights Templar. Following a recent meeting with authorities, some leaders of these groups agreed to disarm by May 10 on the condition authorities take down this criminal structure in its entirety.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Mexico Vigilantes

The Knights Templar have already been hit hard by the campaign against them. Both their top leader, Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, alias "El Chayo," and second-in-command, Enrique Plancarte, alias "El Kike," were recently killed, while federal officials claim they have closed in on La Tuta, the presumed heir to El Chayo.

Lazaro Cardenas is strategically important to the criminal group for the export of drugs and other illicit cargos, and entry of precursor chemicals, so it comes as little surprise the Knights had corrupted the city's government to the highest level.

The vigilante demobilization process is already on shaky legs, with some leaders refusing to commit. While the mayor's arrest shows authorities' dedication to cleaning up Michoacan, it is also a reminder of how difficult this will be, and newly raises the question of how powerful self-defense groups with criminal potential will react if officials are unable to make good on their promises. 

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 APR 2013

Mexican cartels are seeking to cement themselves as "key players" in Europe's drugs market, according to the European Police…

JUDICIAL REFORM / 30 MAR 2015

Two investigators recently sat down to discuss Mexico's ongoing judicial reforms, highlighting several shortcomings related to juvenile detention and police…

MEXICO / 3 FEB 2011

On Wednesday Mexican Federal Police arrested Miguel Gomez Vasquez, alias ‘El Gato,’ the alleged leader of an assassination ring for…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…