Feature

Mexico: Drug lords displaced, not beaten

The vicious drug gang known as the Knights Templar has a message for us.

Ricardo Raphael
El Universal

The vicious drug gang known as the Knights Templar has a message for us, said Ricardo Raphael. Communicating through violence and terror, the gang is telling us that it is coming for Mexico state, which surrounds Mexico City. A joint effort by citizen vigilantes and the federal police has broken the stranglehold the Knights have long had on the state of Michoacán, but the criminals haven’t been captured. They just crossed the border into Mexico state, and are now terrorizing people here. A few weeks ago, four girls going home from school in a village near the border hailed a cab and found themselves abducted. Three jumped out when the cab got stuck in traffic, but one didn’t make it, “and her body was found later, devoid of organs.” Near the same village, an entire young family disappeared on their way to Mass and were found dead, their bodies, “even that of the 6-week-old baby, pierced by dozens of bullets.” These seemingly random horrors are the Knights’ message to the community it has chosen as a refuge. They are intended “to indoctrinate these new neighbors into the logic of terror and secure their enforced silence and complicity.” The criminals haven’t given up—they’ve just moved to a new location.

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