The last blog post dealt with a situation with the "extinct" Beltran Leyva Organization, that is on the ropes, but not yet dead and buried. Today we will discuss another "extinct" cartel that is very much alive.
La Familia Michoacana, (English: The Michoacán Family) or LFM is a narcotics syndicate based in the Mexican state of Michoacán .
|La Tuta is much thinner now|
than he was when this photo
Members of the cartel were organized by Nazario Moreno González, (El Más Loco) who carried a "bible" of his own sayings and insisted that his army of traffickers should avoid using the narcotics that they sell. José de Jesús Méndez Vargas, Servando Gómez Martínez and Enrique Plancarte Solís also led the cartel. Servando Gómez (La Tuta) is the last man standing from that original group. On November 2, 2001, The Mexican Federal Police (SSP) announced that they had eliminated La Familia and that the cartel was "extinct".
They are not extinct, however, they did reorganize, and under new leadership, they rebranded the organization and today it is called The Knights Templar Cartel (Los Caballeros Templarios or LCT). They are based in Michoacan but have shown considerable reach and recently, almost 2,000 fighters took the field and swarmed much of Colima State, and threatened Southern Jalisco State in a military style campaign. You could ask why. And I could answer, but that answer would smack of "conspiracy theory" and that's not what this blog is about. I don't deal in theory here. Only facts.
It has been reported widely that the La Resistencia drug syndicate is part of LCT. That is not true. There are two branches of La Resistencia, which evolved in part from the Millennium Cartel/New Colima Cartel. One branch is run by Juan Carlos Nava Valencia. I don't know who is currently in command of the other branch, but it's not LCT.
Nazario Moreno is dead, but in much the way that Elvis lives in the hearts of people in the US, Nazario lives in the hearts of LCT and they truly believe that he lives, runs the organization and provides secret orders to Servando Gómez (La Tuta) and others in leadership positions. That role of spiritual leader has been assumed by Roman Catholic Archbishop Alberto Suárez Inda, Bishop of the Archdiocese of Morelia responsible for the dioceses of Apatzingan, Ciudad Lázaro Cárdenas, Tacámbaro and Zamora. It is headquartered at Morelia Cathedral in the city of Morelia Michoacán.
On 17 March 2012 in the State of Guanajuato, LCT put up several banners on bridges welcoming Pope Benedict XVI, and pledging to not provoke any violent acts during the pope's visit. The 14 banners read the following: “The Knights Templar Cartel will not partake in any warlike acts, we are not killers, welcome Pope." (Wikipedia)
Renovatio - Rebirth. This is a common theme among drug cartels in Mexico and it occurs because the Mexican Government needs to show success in wiping out the narcotics syndicates that plague the land. As with the Hydra, chopping off one head, usually leaves you with the uncomfortable truth that two have grown in its place in Mexico.