Drug Lord’s Death Indicates End of Knights Templar Cartel

Michoacan murder
Breitbart Texas / Jose Luis Lara

MORELIA, Michoacan — The death of the top leader of the Knights Templar cartel points to the apparent end of the once fearsome entity as the remnants are absorbed by a new cartel, La Nueva Familia Michoacana.

A group of unknown gunmen ambushed and killed Pablo “El 500” Toscano Padilla and Ezequiel “El Cheques” Castañeda as they were making their way to a meeting with other regional organized crime leaders. While Michoacan authorities have remained quiet, intelligence officials revealed to Breitbart Texas that the cartel leaders were meeting to discuss forming an alliance.

The alliance that El 500 was talking about prior to his death comes at a time when Mexico’s Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) is fighting with La Nueva Familia Michoacana over control of Michoacan and its main shipping port of Lazaro Cardenas, Breitbart Texas reported. La Nueva Familia Michoacana is a new evolution of the remnants of the cartel that once had that name along with various other criminal cells that have splintered off from self-defense groups.

New intelligence information indicates that remnants of the Knights Templars once led by El 500 are switching sides and are assimilating with the Nueva Familia Michoacana to fight the CJNG. Prior to his death, El 500 and his men worked with CJNG.

The Knights Templar came about in 2011 after the group split off from the original La Familia Michoacana. The founding leaders were Nazario “El Chayo”  Moreno,  Servando “La Tuta” Gómez, Enrique “Kike” Plancarte, Dionicio “El Tio” Loya, Pablo “El 500” Toscano and Fernando”Tena” Cruz. Most of the leaders of the Knights Templar are dead or are now in prison with the exception of El Tena, who worked with  CJNG but has since switched sides and is now part of La Nueva Familia Michoacana. 

Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, Nuevo León and other areas to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by Jose Luis Lara, a former leading member who helped start the Self-Defense Movement in Michoacán.


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