Mexican authorities arrested a member of The Knights Templar cartel, a nephew of one of its top leaders who is accused of murdering children to sell their organs, an official said Monday.
Manuel Plancarte Gaspar, 34, was arrested last week by state forces with a stolen vehicle and crystal meth and is “under investigation for the death of children, who drew their organs for sale,” said his attorney through his Twitter account.
According to the agency, Gaspar is the nephew of Enrique Solis, also known as “El Kike,” a top leader of the Templar, the cartel led by Servando Gómez Martínez — “La Tute” — that has terrorized the troubled state of Michoacan.
On March 9, soldiers shot dead Nazario Moreno “El Chayo,” or “El Más Loco,” whom the government of Felipe Calderón had presumed dead in 2010 but was secretly leading this cartel, La Familia.
This was the hardest strike by the Mexican government against the Templars after the capture of leaders Dionicio Loya Plancarte, or “Uncle,” and Jesus Macias Vasquez, known as “El Toro.”
Groups of armed civilians called AUC rose in February 2013 in Michoacan to fight the murders, kidnappings, extortion, and other violations of the Templars, and the government deployed a military operation to reinforce them in January.
The Associated Press reported that militia members had rescued several kidnapped children wrapped tightly in blankets in a refrigerated truck that was on its way to a rented home filled with medical equipment.
They had been on their way to a beach outing from their Mexico City school when they were abducted, and the militia returned them to their parents.
Since its birth, the militias have managed to corner drug dealers and take control in 20 villages south of Tierra Caliente and have claimed that recent government operations, as the abatement of “El Chayo”, were the result of information they provided.