HomeNewsBriefMexico's ‘La Tuta’ Acts as Judge In Latest Knights Templar Video
BRIEF

Mexico's ‘La Tuta’ Acts as Judge In Latest Knights Templar Video

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR / 15 AUG 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

The latest video installment from Mexico's Knights Templar leader "La Tuta" shows the drug lord dividing up the inheritance of a deceased local businessman, illustrating how the criminal group has assumed social and judicial functions in the state of Michoacan.

In the video (see below), Knights Templar leader Servando Gomez Martinez, alias "La Tuta," divides the inheritance of Luis Miguel Estefan among five individuals, including the late businessman's wife and two brothers.

Wearing his characteristic baseball cap and glasses, La Tuta stumbles awkwardly through the proceedings, forgetting names and gesticulating aggressively with a pen. After dividing up Estefan's properties -- which included four houses, a restaurant, and a hotel -- La Tuta states that the businessman's relatives also have to make a "donation" of over $450,000 to the criminal group. Then the cartel leader asks each of the relatives to state that they agreed to the division of assets while looking straight into the camera.

This video follows several other recently released Knights Templar recordings, including that of a Michoacan mayor asking for the group's help in investigating her son-in-law's murder, and a video of the son of former governor Fausto Vallejo talking to La Tuta.

InSight Crime Analysis

The most recent video demonstrates how the Knights are so deeply embedded in Michoacan society that they not only run criminal activities, but have also taken on social and judicial roles -- albeit for their own profit -- and are accepted as arbiters in legal matters. It is likely in part La Tuta's ties to the local community that have allowed him to evade capture.

While it is unclear who released the footage or why, it adds to an ever expanding catalogue of Knights Templar videos. The videos often function as an unusual form of publicity with the group attempting to portray itself as a "brotherhood" with a strict moral code that seeks to protect the people of Michoacan. There were also elements of this in the most recent video, with La Tuta talking about dividing up the properties based on moral -- rather than legal -- grounds.  

SEE ALSO: Knights Templar Profile

The Knights Templar also appear to use videos as leverage with political figures, such as former governor Vallejo's son Rodrigo, who was arrested after the release of the video of his meeting with La Tuta.

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

EXTORTION / 13 OCT 2021

A new report claims the success rate of phone extortion is dropping in Mexico, but the fluid nature of this…

ELITES AND CRIME / 9 OCT 2020

As drug traffickers’ bank of choice for many years, HSBC allowed its services to be used as a conduit…

CHINA AND CRIME / 14 APR 2022

The full threat posed to Mexico's biodiversity by both Mexican and Chinese organized crime networks has been revealed in a…

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…