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Knights Templar


Worth Its Weight In Gold: New Unit Combats Mine Heists In Mexico

Six months after a sophisticated robbery where gunmen hijacked gold and silver bars being loaded onto a plane in Mexico, the government has stood up a specialized...

The Life and Death of a Mexican Hitman

It’s 7 pm on a Sunday, and night is falling in this Michoacán town. The heat of the day is past, and there’s a pleasant breeze. The first visitors to the park...
Knights Templar leader Ignacio Rentería Andrade, alias "El Cenizo"

Mexico Arrests Knights Templar Leader, Cementing Group’s Demise

Authorities in Mexico have arrested one of the last main leaders of the Knights Templar crime group, likely leaving the organization's already debilitated...
Several Mexican cartels partake in blood sacrifice rituals

Praying for Death: Blood Sacrifice and Organized Crime in Latin America

A new collection of essays tackles patterns of cultish behavior and ritualized violence among illegal groups across the globe, from the Zetas and the Familia...

How the MS13 Got Its Foothold in Transnational Drug Trafficking

Throughout the continent, the debate on whether or not the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) gang is working with or for drug traffickers continues. In this investigation,...
Wreckage of downed helicopter in Michoacán

Helicopter Shoot-Down Could Signal Resurgence of Mexico Cartel

The recent downing of a government helicopter in Michoacán, Mexico could signal the re-emergence of what was once one of the country's most powerful criminal...

Municipal Murders Highlight Local Corruption in Mexico

A mayor and four municipal police officers were arrested for the grisly murder of 10 people in Mexico's turbulent state of Michoacán, an event that could prompt...
Members of the vigilante group "White Trojans" in Michoacán

‘New’ Vigilante Groups Keep a Violent Tradition Alive in Michoacán

The appearance of new and recycled armed groups whose motives are as questionable as their video-making credentials is the latest manifestation of Michoacán's...
Banner hung by the 'Nueva Familia'

‘Nueva Familia’ Announces Arrival amid Michoacán Turmoil

"Narco-banners" hung around Michoacán have announced the arrival of a new criminal organization in a sign the underworld in the troubled central Mexican state is...
Guerrero is Mexico's most violent state

Narco Negotiations Blamed for Mexico Birthday Party Massacre

Authorities in Guerrero, Mexico have claimed a fatal shootout at a child's birthday party was the result of a breakdown in negotiations during a narco-summit, which...
Militia members in Mexico

Militias in Mexico: Citizens’ Security or Further Conflict Escalation?

This article explores the security and political effects of militia forces that emerged in Mexico in recent years in reaction to violent organized crime, most...

Mexico Recycles Security Strategy in Embattled Michoacan

Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto's mass deployment of federal forces to Michoacan is reminiscent of his predecessor Felipe Calderon's militarized security...