HomeNewsBriefDid Ex-President's Sister Work With Mexico's Knights Templar?
BRIEF

Did Ex-President's Sister Work With Mexico's Knights Templar?

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR / 29 NOV 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

The leader of Mexico's Knights Templar has claimed the cartel was twice contacted by the sister of former president Felipe Calderon, who is currently a senator, raising questions of whether the group's corruptive influence has reached the top levels of Mexican politics.

Servando Gomez Martinez, alias "La Tuta," appeared in a YouTube video on November 27 (see below) claiming Senator Luisa Maria Calderon of the National Action Party (PAN) contacted the Knights Templar during the Michoacan state elections in 2011.

The video shows La Tuta apparently speaking with a local government candidate the senator used as an intermediary, who is now a local government official in Apatzingan.

He said the first time his group spoke with the senator was after they kidnapped her cousin during the 2006 elections for failing to pay back a loan, when she contacted them to request his release in exchange for some "favors."

For her part, the senator has claimed the Knights Templar has had contact with Michoacan state Governor Fausto Vallejo of the opposing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), an accusation denied by La Tuta in the video.

The senator fiercely denied the accusations, saying La Tuta's claims were a response to her own accusations several days before that people claiming to be community leaders received in the Senate in October were in fact Knights Templar members.

InSight Crime Analysis

The senator's claims that Knights Templar members were received in the Senate, which provoked La Tuta's latest diatribe, make for a strange tale and it is unclear what exactly happened and whether the situation is related to corruption or political smears.

As the head of one of Mexico's most notorious criminal organizations, La Tuta is obviously far from a reliable witness and any claims he makes must be treated with suspicion. However, top-level corruption would certainly not be out of the question in Mexico and it is not the first time such accusations have been leveled -- last year, jailed former cartel leader Edgar Valdez Villarreal, alias "La Barbie," accused former President Calderon himself of accepting bribes from him and of trying to organized a pact between drug cartels.

In the current political and criminal environment, it is unusual for criminal organizations to look to corrupt national politicians, as their interests are better served by corrupting on a local level, and so gaining influence in the areas where they operate rather than over national policy. According to one official estimate, 40 percent of Mexico's towns and cities are subject to the influence of criminal groups, who determine everything from who is put in office to who is given local contracts.

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

DRUG POLICY / 24 NOV 2011

The annual race to chart Mexico’s homicide rates has begun, but an examination of the claim that the drug-related…

MEXICO / 21 JUL 2011

The latest blog post from Alejandro Poire, Felipe Calderon’s security spokesman, argued that most Mexicans support the government’s anti-crime policies.

MEXICO / 15 MAY 2015

Authorities in Mexico have found dozens of mass graves and hundreds of bodies near the city of Iguala since September,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

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…