News24

No violence during Pope visit - gang

2012-03-19 12:06

Mexico City - Banners purportedly signed by one of Mexico's drug cartels and hung in Guanajuato promise there will be no violence during next weekend's visit to the state by Pope Benedict XVI, an official said on Sunday.

At least 11 banners signed by The Knights Templar gang were found in five municipalities, including the city of Leon, where the pope begins his trip on Friday, an official at the state Attorney General's Office said. The official agreed to discuss the events on condition of anonymity, because he was not authorised to disclose the information.

He said the banners were found on Saturday hanging from pedestrian bridges and carried messages about "a sort of truce for peace and said they are going to keep the peace during the pope's visit".

The official did not reveal the exact wording of the messages, but the newspaper Reforma's Sunday edition said one banner read: "The Knights Templar disavow any military action, we are not murders, welcome to the Pope."

The Knights Templar gives itself a pseudo-religious persona, proclaiming in banners that it is the defender of the region's people. It was created in neighbouring Michoacan state after a split with the since-weakened La Familia cartel.

Severed heads

In February, The Knights Templar put out banners warning rival gangs to stay away and not create trouble during the pope's stay.

Benedict is scheduled to visit Guanajuato from Friday until Monday, when he will fly to Cuba. Mexican President Felipe Calderon plans to greet the pope at Leon's airport.

Earlier on Sunday, Mexican authorities announced they had found 10 severed heads dumped outside a slaughterhouse in a town in northern Guerrero state. They said police were still searching for the bodies.

A statement from the Teloloapan police said the heads of seven men and three women were left with a message that appeared to threaten the La Familia cartel. The warning said: "This is going to happen to all those who support the FM."

La Familia is based in Michoacan state, which lies to the east of Guerrero. Both states have suffered in recent years from fighting among drug gangs. Authorities say La Familia has been severely battered in the fighting.

In another development, Mexico's army said soldiers in the western state of Jalisco captured a suspected local leader of Jalisco New Generation, a drug gang allegedly allied with the powerful Sinaloa cartel.

A military statement said Jose Guadalupe Padilla Serna, alias "The Vulture", was a New Generation commander in six municipalities in Jalisco and was caught with another alleged gang member.

Padilla was a direct subordinate of the recently captured Erick Valencia Salazar, purported head of New Generation, the army said.

Comments
  • Anthony - 2012-03-19 13:14

    If Benedict xvi, wants to to one right thing, while being pope, he should move permanently to Mexico !!!

  • zaatheist - 2012-03-19 16:14

    Well the Mexican gang lords are just showing respect for another gang lord - the chief of the biggest criminal organisation in the world. The Mexican gangsters know that the Catholic church, that's the Mafia in frocks! The same methods are employed by both organisations, in fact I believe the Mafia learned their tricks from the Catholic church. Fear Extortion Intimidation Protection racket

      Hallo - 2012-03-19 16:35

      Godfrey - shame did someone touch you when you were a kid and now you are taking it out on the church? Get some help mate.

      Africa21stcentury - 2012-03-19 17:31

      Zaatheist, Great comment !!

      zaatheist - 2012-03-19 19:09

      @Hallo Here, let me help you. Pick any one of the following Christian untruths about atheists. - atheists believe in God, they just refuse to worship out of pride - atheists worship Satan - atheists leave religion because they cannot adhere to God’s morality - atheists are angry at God - atheism is a phase some young people go through - atheists are possessed by demons - atheists believe nothing created everything - atheists are all gay - gay people are all atheists - atheists can’t be trusted (since they can’t swear on the Bible) - there are no atheists in foxholes - Charles Darwin recanted on his deathbed - atheists have no moral compass - atheism is a religion - atheists can’t prove there isn’t a God, therefore there is one

  • Africa21stcentury - 2012-03-19 16:17

    Well, at least we would remember him as the pope who stopped the drug related violence in Mexico. Instead of the pope, who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of aid sufferers, who were told by HIM, NOT to wear a condom while having sex!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Still feel, that this pope should be arrested and send to the ICC, for committing crimes against humanity !!!

      Hallo - 2012-03-19 16:35

      Ditto the above comment for you.

      zaatheist - 2012-03-19 19:12

      @Hallo What an insightful comment you made. The pope, god and jesus will be proud of you. Oh and that virgin Mary. What sucker Joseph was to believe that,

  • Malcolm - 2012-03-20 10:19

    Prohibition has finally run it’s course; the lives and livelihoods of hundred's of millions of people worldwide have been destroyed or severely disrupted; many countries that were once shining beacons of liberty and prosperity have become toxic, repressive, smoldering heaps of hypocrisy, and a gross affront to fundamental human decency. It is now the duty of every last one of us to insure that the people who are responsible for this shameful situation are not simply left in peace to enjoy the wealth and status that their despicable actions have, until now, afforded them. Former and present Prohibitionists must not be allowed to remain “untainted and untouched” from the unconscionable acts that they have viciously committed on their fellow human beings. - They have provided us with neither safe communities nor safe streets; we will provide them with neither a safe haven to enjoy their ill-gotten gains nor the liberty to repeat such a similar atrocity! Prohibition has evolved local gangs into transnational enterprises with intricate power structures that reach into every corner of society, helping them control vast swaths of territory while gifting them with significant social and military resources. Those responsible shall not go unpunished!

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