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La Familia cartel is sometimes described as quasi-religious since its leaders, Moreno González and Méndez Vargas, refer to their assassinations and beheadings as "divine justice"
Pictures of the latest objects seized by the police in the Mexican state of Michoacan, revealed that the mysterious 'Knights Templar" drug cartel is more bizarre than most people imagine.
There were four hooded tunics, with a red cross, a metal helmet, and a pamphlet or Templar rule book. This drug cartel claims to draw inspiration from the medieval Christian warriors who fought to protect Jerusalem and the Holy Grail.
The rules in the modern day 'templar bible' call for observance of 'gentleman' like behaviour and respect for women – but also state that any disclosure of knights templar activities will result in the death of the person and his whole family, and confiscation by the cartel of the snitch’s property.
The cartel is like a secret society.
The Mexican Templars have an initiation ritual, which apparently includes dressing up like knights from the Middle Ages, and performing blood pacts.
The cartel recruits drug users and enrolls them in the organisation's rehabilitation centers; the process is closely monitored and has a strong religious component.
The double standard is striking: the Templars can not take drugs, and yet they run one of the biggest methamphetamines traffic corridors to the United States.
The young recruits are told to be 'gentlemen', the word for 'knight' in Spanish means a 'gentleman', but they have to kill those who they judge as thieves, rapists, or kidnappers, hanging them from bridges and attaching messages to their bodies.