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

BELTRAN LEYVA ORG / 31 OCT 2010

Mexican authorities are making it seem as if Edgar Valdez Villareal, alias “La Barbie,” is cooperating with them following their…

HOMICIDES / 12 SEP 2011

Murder rates for 15-19 year old males in Mexico more than doubled between 2007 and 2009, with homicide becoming the…

EXTORTION / 30 NOV 2015

Prisoners in Mexico are paying enormous fees for essential needs and physical security, a news report says, highlighting the role…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…