HomeNewsBriefEx-Michoacan Governor Case Spotlights Knights Templar Political Network
BRIEF

Ex-Michoacan Governor Case Spotlights Knights Templar Political Network

ELITES AND CRIME / 8 MAY 2014 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

The former interim governor of Mexico’s southwest Pacific state of Michoacan has been sent to federal prison for alleged Knights Templar ties, in a case highlighting the far reaching corrupt political network that facilitated the group’s expansion.

Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office announced May 7 that Jose de Jesus Reyna Garcia would be imprisoned on organized crime charges, based on declarations, financial information and evidence he held meetings with Knights leaders including the head of the group, Servando “La Tuta” Gomez, reported El Universal.

The ex-Michoacan governor and government secretary was first placed under a 40 day “arraigo” — detention while investigations continue — in early April on suspicions he had links to the group. After investigations unearthed evidence of his collusion with criminal groups, prosecutors requested a formal arrest warrant and on the morning of May 8 Reyna Garcia was sent to the Altiplano maximum security prison in the State of Mexico.

InSight Crime Analysis

The case against Reyna Garcia is just the latest in a string of arrests, investigations and accusations implicating Michoacan officials for Knights Templar ties. In April, two mayors were arrested — one the head of the state’s principal port city — for such links, while various councilmen in the town of Apatzingan detailed their experiences living in the group’s clutches.

Additionally, former PRD senator Iris Vianey Mendoza came under fire after appearing alongside the daughter of late Knights leader Enrique “Kike” Plancarte in a photo, and La Tuta has accused former President Felipe Calderon’s sister of contacting the group. According to vigilante leader Jose Manuel Mireles, there are many others who have provided protection to the Knights.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Elites and Organized Crime

The discovery of this extensive political network sheds light on how the Knights Templar have exercised such deep-seated social and economic control in Michoacan. In addition to drug trafficking, the group has exerted power over industries from iron mining to avocado farming since its emergence, using extortion and violence to appropriate profits.

These arrests have come at a time of a sustained offensive against the Knights Templar by the federal government and local self-defense forces, which has seen much of the group’s leadership fall. However, there are signs a new, hybrid criminal organization is already emerging to fill the resulting criminal power vacuum, and it is unlikely the state will prove capable of installing a corruption-free new regime or asserting power in the region.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

INFOGRAPHICS / 25 MAY 2012

The latest US indictment against Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman and other members of his Sinaloa Cartel is a mine of…

EL AZUL / 19 JUL 2012

One of Mexico’s foremost traffickers narrowly avoided capture by federal forces earlier this month, fueling speculation that the…

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 13 OCT 2015

Authorities in Mexico have called for legal reforms that would link environmental and organized crime, a measure which -- if…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…