HomeNewsBriefKnights Templar Raise Stakes, Target Big Business
BRIEF

Knights Templar Raise Stakes, Target Big Business

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR / 29 MAY 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

Mexico's authorities blamed the Caballeros Templarios gang for several attacks against Sabritas, a PepsiCo subsidiary, in what may be one of the first major targetings of a large transnational firm in the country's ever-evolving drug war.

Guanajuato Attorney General Carlos Zamarripa Aguirre said the Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar), an offshoot of the Familia Michoacana, firebombed numerous company trucks and buildings Friday and Saturday in Guanajuato and Michaocan states, El Universal reported

Sabritas is a PepsiCo Mexico food distribution subsidiary that has operations throughout the country. In a statement, the company said it "lamented" the attacks and had contacted the authorities.

Zamarripa said four alleged members of the group arrested following the attacks and declared extortion to be the motive. However, Sabritas denied it had been extorted, according to a separate report by El Universal.

InSight Crime Analysis

The Knights Templar have tried to compensate for their relatively low prominence in the drug trade by aggressively expanding their extortion operations. This appears to have been their next step. And if they were responsible for these attacks, they have certainly raised the stakes.

Former Mexico intelligence official and security analyst Alejandro Hope said this was the first attack he could remember against a transnational company, the Associated Press reported. However, it does not seem as though the group purposely targeted Pepsi because it is a US business.

In general, organized criminal groups and smaller gangs prefer to target small and medium companies for extortion and attacks for a variety of reasons. They are more localized, making their leadership more identifiable and accessible to criminals. They are also more likely to have cash at hand than larger businesses.

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

BRAZIL / 30 MAR 2017

In our March 30 Facebook Live session, Senior Investigator Deborah Bonello and Senior Editor Mike LaSusa discussed some of the…

COVID AND CRIME / 30 MAR 2021

The seizure in Mexico of COVID-19 vaccine smuggled aboard a private plane linked to a Honduran textile magnate marks the…

MEXICO / 14 MAR 2012

The Zetas forced one of their henchmen to surrender to the authorities after killing a US agent last year, in…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.