Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Michoacán Templarios stole human organs from child victims, to sell and to eat
*Updated Mar. 19*
Michoacán's Secretary of Public Security yesterday announced the capture of 34 year old Manuel Plancarte Gaspar, a nephew of Enrique "Kike" Plancarte. The latter is one of two surviving bosses of the state's vicious Los Caballeros Templarios drug cartel. For weeks federal and state authorities have been scouring the hot, dry, rugged Tierra Caliente - the Templarios home turf - to arrest or eliminate Kike, too.
SSP secretary Carlos Hugo Castellanos Becerra said the nephew, Plancarte Gaspar, was under investigation for trafficking in human organs, most of them taken from children. Gaspar was arrested Mar. 7, but the event was not revealed until Monday. His base of operations was Apatzingán and Uruapan counties, SSP reported. Both are at the epicenter of Michoacán organized crime violence.
In a press conference Castellanos Becerra told reporters, "there are indications of a network which focused on locating persons with certain physical characteristics, with a preference for minors. They were kidnapped and taken to rented houses, where waiting medical teams extracted their organs and later sold them on the black market."
The victims were commonly seized in remote villages, according to SSP, and then killed immediately before their organs were harvested. The agency offered no numbers, but said Plancarte Gaspar could be "behind dozens of disappearances in the state."
The houses where the extractions were carried out have been located, the secretary said. The case remains under investigation. But today the news got even worse.
The federal security commissioner for Michoacán, Alfredo Castillo, said there is evidence that another Templarios boss who was killed by Mexican troops on Mar. 9 required new cartel recruits to consume human organs as part of the group's initiation rite.
Nazario Moreno, known as "El Chayo," died in a firefight with federal security forces after refusing to surrender. He is regarded as the founder of the Caballeros Templarios and its predecessor, La Familia Michoacana. The administration of former president Felipe Calderón Hinojosa erroneously reported in December 2010 that it had eliminated El Chayo, earning him the moniker of the narco who died twice.
"We have statements that El Chayo made new Templarios eat human hearts," said commissioner Castillo this morning, who emphasized that the claims are still being investigated. The information was obtained from some of the approximately 500 cartel members who have been taken into custody since January, when federal forces flooded the state.
Fellow Templarios affectionately nicknamed El Chayo el más loco - the craziest one.
The Caballeros Templarios have been greatly weakened in recent weeks, but on Saturday a citizen militia leader said "they still govern Michoacán." Defiant civilian militias announce rupture with Mexico City. The cartel thrives from narcotics trafficking, commercial extortion, kidnappings for ransom and trade in stolen goods - apparently including body parts. A Mexican press report today alleges the Templarios are one of the world's largest producers of methamphetamine, and claims at their heyday they netted a million dollars or more per week from extortion. Los negocios de Los Templarios.
Mar. 19 - Mexican news services said today most of the organ harvesting was indeed for purposes of consumption, and not for sale on the black market. Medical experts quoted by the national press said the Templarios simply lacked the technical assistance and facilities to extract organs, preserve them under required conditions and rapidly transport them to waiting buyers, all without detection by law enforcement.
Mar. 22 - PAN boss: "There's no respect for life in Michoacán, nor a government"
Feb. 14 - Deadly Michoacán
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at 12:08 PM