Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Michoacán's agony continues, as a new cartel may have emerged to replace Templarios on the run

Guadalajara -
Mexican press sources are reporting today that a new cartel has surfaced in troubled Michoacán state, where federal security forces and citizen militias have all but decimated the once omnipotent Los Caballeros Templarios.

The new group is purportedly called La Tercera Hermandad - the Third Brotherhood, or H3 for short. It allegedly consists of Templarios survivors, members of the powerful Guadalajara based Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG), which hopes to replace the Templarios, and militia defectors who decided to cast their lot with organized crime.

The Federal Security Commissioner for Michoacán, Alfredo Castillo, today issued a statement denying the group's existence, which he attributed to unfounded rumors. Michoacán's community autodefensas are under a federal order to disband by May 10, and many parts of the state remain tense in anticipation of that event. Federals, Michoacán militias reach deal on disarmament.

But others insist that H3 is real, and that one of its leaders is Servando Gómez, a/k/a "La Tuta" - the sole surviving boss of the Templarios for whom both federals and militiamen are searching daily.

Unconfirmed reports say that former autodefensas in La Huacana and Buenavista Tomatlán counties - both seedbeds of Templarios activity until a few weeks ago - joined with CJNG loyalists in the region to form the new cartel. On Jan. 31 Mexico's attorney general warned that some citizen militias in Michoacán were corrupt, and had been armed by competitors of the Caballeros Templarios. Mexican prosecutor: Jalisco drug cartel armed Michoacán autodefensas.

The Templarios succeeded La Familia Michocana, whose origins extend back a decade or more. The founder of both organizations was killed by Mexican federal troops on Mar. 9.

Michoacán security has been an unending challenge for the last two administrations. Former National Action Party president Felipe Calderón Hinojosa sent federal troops into the state in December 2006, in the opening act of Mexico's drug war. Enrique Peña Nieto delivered an encore in May 2013, as the state spiraled out of control with incessant violence. Fiasco in Michoacán suggests little has changed under new government, while security prognosis remains poor. In January Peña Nieto dispatched yet more federal security forces, as parts of Michoacán tottered on civil war. Michoacán security accord more of the same old song.

Now a fourth cartel may be seeking to capitalize on the continuing civil disorder, in a state plagued by the most tenacious organized crime. Mexico's Human Rights Comm'n: No local law in Michoacán.

Mar. 18 - Michoacán Templarios stole human organs from child victims, to sell and to eat
Feb. 14 - Mexico opens investigation into U.S. citizen missing in Michoacán, as long silence grows increasingly ominous

© MGR 2014. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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