HomeNewsBrief'La Tuta' Likely New Leader of Knights Templar After 'El Chayo' Death
BRIEF

'La Tuta' Likely New Leader of Knights Templar After 'El Chayo' Death

EL CHAYO / 11 MAR 2014 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

The death of Knights Templar leader "El Chayo" in Mexico has had little outward effect on the group's leadership structure, though the take down of the group's spiritual guide could have an impact on ideology and morale.

Following the death of Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, alias "El Chayo," or "The Craziest One," in a shootout with security forces in Michoacan, Servando Gomez Martinez, alias "La Tuta," will take over as the top leader of the criminal organization, Michoacan vigilantes stated on their Twitter account, Valor Por Michoacan.

Previously, La Tuta and Enrique "El Kike" Plancarte -- now to be second in command, say vigilantes -- were used as the visible faces of the Knights Templar, but Moreno was the person in command, according to federal security commissioner Alfredo Castillo.

"They (La Tuta and El Kike) were second level, although it appeared they were the first," he said, adding that El Chayo was the person making the important decisions behind the scenes, reported Proceso.

InSight Crime Analysis

The death of El Chayo confirmed what had been rumored since he was first reported killed in 2010 -- that while La Tuta and El Kike were the public faces of the Knights Templar, behind the scenes El Chayo was pulling the strings. 

SEE ALSO: El Chayo Profile 

La Tuta, who regularly appears in antagonistic propaganda videos and is the most recognized spokesperson for the Knights, was previously thought to be the group's top leader. It is likely he will now occupy this role for real, meaning a minimum of upheaval in the Knights leadership on the surface. However, it remains to be seen what deeper impact the loss of the group's ideological and spiritual leader will have.

Despite the loss of El Chayo and suffering several other major blows recently, the Knights Templar are far from dismantled. According to Mexico's Attorney General's Office, 18 of 27 members of the group's core structure remain at large.

One of the main factors behind the increased pressure on the Knights has been the emergence of the Michoacan vigilante movement. However, cracks are also beginning to show in their leadership. Two of the movement's most prominent leaders have accused each other of colluding with the Knights Templar, sparking concerns over an armed confrontation and leading state security forces to intervene.

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 / 12 FEB 2015

Cuernavaca has overtaken Acapulco as Mexico's most dangerous city, according to an annual report from a Mexican NGO, indication that…

MEXICO / 9 OCT 2013

A new NGO report gives a breakdown of the causes of overcrowding in Mexico's prisons, offering insight into…

LA FAMILIA MICHOACANA / 7 NOV 2011

The arrest of a commander of the Familia Michoacana is another blow to the sinking criminal group, just…

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.