Members of the Federal Police arrested Mario Alberto Romero Rodríguez, alias “El Tucán” and also known as Efraín Isaac Rosales, before dawn on Saturday, October 18. “El Tucán”, who is 48 years old, is reportedly a high ranking member of the Los Caballeros Templarios cartel. He is specifically reported as an operator for Servando Gómez Martínez, alias “La Tuta” dating back to the days of La Familia Michoacana and said to be his right hand.
“El Tucán” operated principally in the municipality of Parácuaro, Michoacán. In June 2013, he allegedly participated in the grenade attack on a hotel in Los Reyes, which was housing members of the federal forces. With the rise of the autodefensa movement, he was considered a major foe in the region of Apatzingán. To impede their advances, he allegedly organized roadblocks and vehicle burnings on January 5, 2014 in Antúnez. Thereafter, his luxurious residence was discovered there, located next to the town church.
“El Tucán” moved to Mexico City several months ago and was arrested in the colonia of Condesa, where he had been distributing drugs in the area where the bars were located. At the time of his arrest he had about a kilogram of crystal meth, a firearm, and two ammunition clips. Based on this information, it is my speculation that Los Caballeros Templarios is largely disbanded and “El Tucán” was no longer an important cartel member. It appears that he had become nothing more than a local drug distributor.