Wake for 'twice-killed' Mexican drug lord

FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2010 file photo, a man holds a sign that reads in Spanish "Nazario will always live in our hearts," referring to La Familia drug cartel leader Nazario Moreno Gonzalez during a demonstration after the government announced he was killed in Apatzingan, Mexico. (AP Photo/Primera Plana, File)

MORELIA, Mexico: Relatives of Nazario Moreno, head of the Knights Templar drug gang killed last week despite being reported "dead" in 2010, gathered for a wake with no police presence late Saturday.

Moreno, best known by his nicknames "El Chayo" and "El Mas Loco" (The Craziest One), was killed in a shoot-out with soldiers in the town of Apatzingan in western Mexico on March 9.

Officials had earlier said that he had been killed in a shoot-out more than three years ago, but his body was never found.

A group of mainly women gathered at an upscale funeral home in Morelia, the state capital of Michoacan, for a wake where only four private security guards kept curious people away, an AFP journalist reported.

Moreno's relatives did not want to "return to Apatzingan with him in these conditions, because the body has been under scrutiny for eight days," said a woman who identified herself as Moreno's niece but refused to give her name.

There are no refrigeration chambers for bodies in Apatzingan, where he was killed, so the body was taken instead to Morelia and handed late Friday to the late drug lord's sister and niece, the woman said.

Moreno was killed in a dawn gun battle, and authorities took several hours to confirm his identity. His identity was eventually confirmed by comparing his fingerprints with those they had on file.

Moreno was the founder of the now-defunct La Familia drug gang and a leader in its spin-off group, the Knights Templar.

He was considered the cartel's spiritual leader, having penned the "Gospel of La Familia" -- a sort of gang bible with rules barring its members from consuming drugs or alcohol.





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