Mexican bishop urges people to resist drug-dealing cult
December 03, 2013
Bishop Miguel Patiño Velazquez of Apatzingan, Mexico, has launched a campaign to combat a vicious local drug-trafficking group that styles itself the Knights Templar.
A group that combines the brutality of a drug gang with the beliefs and rituals of a religious cult, the Knights Templar have terrorized residents of the Apatzingan diocese and intimidated public officials. The bishop is calling citizens to resist the group’s influence.
Named for the monastic military order that was suppressed in the early 14th century, the Knights Templar in Mexico were founded by Nazario Moreno, a charismatic figure who claimed to be a defender of the poor. His followers revere Moreno as a mystic. Law-enforcement officials say that he was killed in shootout in 2010; others insist that he is still alive.