San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rican police arrest two suspected members of Mexico’s ‘Los Caballeros Templarios’

Costa Rican authorities on Friday arrested two suspected members of the Mexican drug cartel “Los Caballeros Templarios” (Knights Templar), who are suspected of killing a Guatemalan man and a Costa Rican model last November in an alleged murder of retribution, officials said.

Following a six-month investigation, the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) arrested two Mexican brothers with the last names Alvarado Carrillo, who allegedly are directly linked to the cartel, along with four Costa Ricans.

“Today we moved forward with the arrest of members of the group, as we had information that the Mexican men and leaders of this organization were in Costa Rica,” interim OIJ Assistant Director Gustavo Mata told TV’s Channel 7.

The arrests were coordinated with eight police raids in four locations across the country, in which 80 kilograms of cocaine, several firearms and luxury vehicles were seized.

“Apparently the homicide was payback for the Guatemalan man, and the young model with him was likely at the wrong place and the wrong time, for which she too was killed,” Mata said.

Authorities identified the victims as Sigifredo Fernández, 52, from Guatemala, and Pamela Céspedes, 29. They were killed on Nov. 8, 2012, when the vehicle they were traveling in was fired upon while driving on the San José-Caldera Highway, west of the capital.

Los Caballeros Templarios is a violent drug cartel that also participates in other extremely violent criminal operations including kidnapping, extortion and robbery, on Mexico’s Pacific coast.

Mexican drug cartels have increased their presence throughout Central America, which serves as a bridge for 90 percent of the cocaine that is trafficked to the United States from South America, according to the United Nations.

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