HomeNewsBrief'Knights Templar Crucify Alleged Rapist'
BRIEF

'Knights Templar Crucify Alleged Rapist'

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR / 11 SEP 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

Reports that an alleged rapist was crucified in rural Michoacan, west Mexico, raise the question of whether the Knights Templar gang were responsible, as the killing bears several trademarks associated with the criminal group. 

According to Notimex, the 24-year-old victim was discovered crucified in the municipality of Contepec on September 7, four days after a woman filed a police report stating that he sexually assaulted her. The victim's body bore signs of torture and was hung from a traffic sign. A message was attached to his chest with two ice picks, and read: "This happened to me for being a rapist and it will happen to all the gossips, tattlers, traitors, know this is not a game."

Drug trafficking blog Mundo Narco attributes the crucifixion to the Knights Templar (Caballeros Templarios) but security and government officials in Michoacan have not confirmed this, nor has the gang claimed responsibility. 

InSight Crime Analysis

While the message on the victim's body was not signed by the Knights Templar, the threats against "tattlers" and "traitors" echoed the rhetoric found in the narco-banners that Mexico's criminal gangs use to make public announcements. And given the Knights Templar's use of ritual and religious symbolism -- from their name to the costume helmets found in a safehouse earlier this year -- it would not be surprising if they chose to give their victim a symbolic punishment. The victim's genitals had reportedly been cut off and stuffed into his mouth.

It is also possible that the killing was carried out by local people seeking revenge. But no matter who is responsible, the death highlights the lack of faith in official authority in Michoacan, illustrating a belief that the alleged rapist would not be brought to justice by the formal legal system. This lack of state authority in Michoacan has helped the rise of the Knights Templar and their predecessors, the Familia Michoacana, both of which have presented themselves as acting as law enforcers in the region.

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

HOMICIDES / 4 MAR 2022

Makeshift bombs and grenade launchers are now being used in battles between cartels and Mexico’s security forces in an alarming…

AYOTZINAPA / 26 SEP 2020

A new report says that authorities in Mexico failed to send bone fragments found in connection to the Ayotzinapa investigation…

DISPLACEMENT / 31 MAY 2021

The Catholic Church has played a central role in negotiating peace between Mexican drug cartels. But religious leaders in Michoacán…

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…