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Mexican army finds costume helmets used during drug cartel initiation

The Mexican army says it has found 120 plastic helmets worn by members of the Knights Templar drug cartel during initiation ceremonies for new members, the Associated Press reported.

This style of helmet is worn in rural Mexico by people portraying centurions in plays during Easter week. The helmets were found in a rural area in the Michoacán department in western Mexico.

The Knights Templar emerged in 2010, announcing itself on banners strung across the country. The Knights’ leaders claimed this was the new name of La Familia Michoacana, an organized crime syndicate that is the main producer of methamphetamine to the United States.

The rename was also a rebrand, according to those banners, which stated that the Knights were committed to “Safeguarding of order, preventing robberies, kidnappings and extortions,” The Monitor, a newspaper in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, reported. In about a year, however, the Knights Templar earned a reputation for violence and drug trafficking.

Then again, the name may be fitting.

The Knights take their name from the original Knights Templars, which were founded during the Middle Ages. Although the 13th-century Knights were a charitable organization, they were also the most vicious crusaders.

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