An alleged member of the Mexican Knights Templar cartel, 34-year-old Manuel Plancarte Gaspar, was arrested by police in the state of Michoacán–suspected of killing young children by removing their internal organs. Michoacán state Public Safety Secretary Carlos Castellanos accused the alleged gang member of involvement in the cartel’s organ harvesting ring, which reportedly targeted children, according to a report in the New York Daily News.
According to the Daily Mail, Gaspar was apprehended last week in a stolen car where large amounts of cash and crystal meth were found. He is the nephew of a notorious Knights Templar leader named Enrique Plancarte Solis.
Subsequent to the arrest, Carlos Castellanos tweeted a series of alarming messages according to the Daily News. One of them said that Gaspar “belongs to a criminal group and is being investigated for the death of children, who drew their organs for sale,” as reported in the paper.
Castellanos said at a news conference this week that cartel members would kidnap various children, take them to rental homes, remove their organs, and then sell the organs on the black market, according to the New York paper. He asserted that available evidence and statements point to “a network of several suspects who would identify people with certain characteristics, especially children, and kidnap them,” the paper reported.
Sylvia Longmire, Breitbart Texas contributing editor and border security expert said, “The organ trafficking business is a lucrative global trade–much bigger than most people know. However, it hasn’t been typically associated with Mexican cartel business. Groups like the Knights Templar, La Familia Michoacán, and Los Zetas have always been interested in diversifying their business and rely much less on drug trafficking to bring in income than other cartels.”
Vigilante leader Dr. Jose Manuel Mireles said on MVS radio that locals knew what was going on after several children in his town were saved from one cartel van. He was quoted in the Daily News stating, “They were inside a refrigerated box, tightly wrapped in blankets. All were from a Mexico City school and were on school trip to the beach when they were kidnapped… They were all children from the same Mexico City school.”
Longmire said “The Knights, La Familia, and Los Zetas’ activities are sadly filled with violent examples involving children. This appears to be yet another example of Mexican cartels diversifying their income and not caring one shred about who they victimize.”
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