11/04/14 (written by sramirez) — Servando “La Tuta” Gómez, the leader of the Knights Templar (Caballeros Templarios, KTO), has recently been heard on a new alleged recording expressing that he was fed up with the Knights Templar and suggests the creation of a new organization. This new group, he explains, would focus solely on drug trafficking and the illegal extraction and export of iron ore from mines to China through the Michoacán port of Lázaro Cárdenas instead of the cartel’s more recent activities including kidnapping and robbery.
According to Mexican newspaper El Financiero, La Tuta also asks drug trafficking operator Pablo “El Quinientos/Quinini” Toscano Padilla, KTO regional leader in the Michoacán municipality of Lázaro Cárdenas, to speak with Fernando “El Tena” Cruz Mendoza, another KTO operator in Michoacán, about the option of a coordinated effort to manage iron ore mines and drug distribution in Michoacán. The recording captures him saying, “Apply yourself, my Quinini… We must look at the [iron ore] miners with a lot of tactfulness and respect. We will only charge those that come from the outside. If before they gave us $3 and now $1.50 that is still enough. The only thing we want now is to earn to live. Make this comment to ‘Tena’.” He then proceeds to inform his fellow operators “there will be enough for everyone, but only with a compromise to not steal nor extort. We have never been dedicated to that … You know that you and I are workingmen; we are narcs. We’ve never been bandits, kidnappers, nor any type of those bastards.” La Tuta goes on to express his belief that it was the previous KTO leader, Nazario “El Chayo” Moreno González, which steered the organization into this diversification of criminal activity. On this note, reports El Economista, La Tuta adds, “I am so…fed up, I don’t want to know anything about the Knights Templar.”
Gómez’s ultimate plan, as heard on the audio, is to unite and form an alliance of “friends” to “work” and maintain their drug trafficking territories. “There is enough land to plant marijuana and to help us live. The mines we work we will work, we will steal nothing from no one,” he concludes.
This is not the first time La Tuta has surfaced on multimedia. Instead, this audio recording is one of a string of videos and photos of La Tuta that have emerged in recent months, often with Michoacán mayors and elected officials. La Tuta assumed the outright leadership position within KTO in early 2014, after three of the organized crime group’s four leaders were arrested in the first three months of this year.