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.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

MEXICO / 23 SEP 2014

Senators in Mexico have proposed an initiative to create a law granting amnesty to imprisoned vigilantes including vigilante leader Jose…

MEXICO / 4 APR 2013

The author of one of Mexico's best-known websites documenting the country's drug violence has revealed her identity as a woman…

MEXICO / 6 JUN 2017

One media outlet in Mexico has poked fun at Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán's international cultural prominence with a spoof article…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…