- Police in Mexico have found the bodies of 15 men crammed into a pickup truck
- The truck and bodies were found Friday in the rural township of Aquila
- One of the dead has been identified as a member of the Knights Templar cartel
- Police said the motive appeared to be a belief that the men were kidnappers
Police in western Mexico have found the bodies of 15 men crammed into a pickup truck that was left on the side of a road.
The bodies were found Friday in the rural township of Aquila, according to the prosecutors’ office in the western state of Michoacan.
One of the dead men has been identified as a local member of the Knights Templar cartel, police said.
Police in western Mexico have found the bodies of 15 men crammed into a pickup truck that was left on the side of a road. One of the dead men has been identified as a member of the Knights Templar cartel
The beige truck was splattered with blood and had messages scrawled on the side.
The bodies found inside were riddled with bullet wounds.
The writings suggested that the men were killed ‘because they were kidnappers.’
The Knights Templar gang, known is Mexico as ‘Los Caballeros Templarios’ or ‘LCT,’ has been involved in drug trafficking, kidnapping, extortion and killings.
The cartel has tried to brand itself as a group of crusaders trying to protect the unprotected, according to Public Radio International.
The US Drug Enforcement Agency classifies the Knights Templar as a Mexican trans-national criminal organization, but said in its October 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment that at this time, the gang ‘does not have a major impact on the drug trafficking landscape within the US.’
But in May of 2013, former President Barack Obama added the organization to the US government’s list of narcotics ‘kingpins,’ as the gang was thought to be one of the top smugglers of crystal meth into the Us, at that time.
The area around Aquila was the scene of an uprising by armed vigilantes against the Knights Templar cartel in 2013.