Dr. Jose Manuel Mireles and 69 more arrested

[On Friday, June 27 around 5:30 PM, members of the federal police and the Mexican Army arrested Doctor José Manuel Mireles and 69 other autodefensas that were accompanying him, in the administrative district (tenencia) of La Mira. Around 30 federal trucks arrived in the place. Mireles was transported to the Port of Lázaro Cárdenas, 15 kilometers from La Mira. The day before, Mireles led a hundred armed men that entered La Mira, just 15 kilometers from Port Lázaro Cárdenas, a strategic place for Los caballeros templarios. Below is an editorial that appeared in La Jornada regarding the hypocrisy of his arrest. And the United States government continues giving beaucoup bucks to Mexico to fight the Drug War in Michoacán and elsewhere in Mexico when it’s obvious that the Mexican government is fighting the people instead of the drug traffickers!]

Mireles arrested! Photo: La Jornada

Mireles arrested! Photo: La Jornada


The arrest of José Manuel Mireles, ex member of the Council of Autodefensas of Michoacán, occurred yesterday at the hands of federal forces, constitutes a clear example of the partisan application of justice and distortion of the state of law that state has endured in recent months and that has sharpened beginning with the federal government’s intervention in the Michoacán scenario and the virtual annulment of state sovereignty.

It’s noteworthy, in the first place, the lack of consequence of a federal government that announces zero tolerance to armed civilian groups just weeks after it used them to pursue and abate the alleged ringleaders of criminal organizations. With respect to that, it’s appropriate to remember the participation of self-defense groups –according to what Mireles himself related– in the operation that led to the death of Nazario Moreno, El Chayo, supposed founder of the Knights Templar (Los caballeros templarios).

It is significant that, a little before his capture, Mireles and his men had advanced and taken control of La Mira, located in Lázaro Cárdenas municipality.

To start, it is certainly undesirable that the State permits the uncontrolled presence of armed groups of citizens, even less in such an explosive and violent atmosphere as Michoacán. But in this case the official discourse ignores –because it thus appears to suit its interests– that the presence of those groups is a consequence, not the cause, of an annulment of the legality originally provoked by the tolerance and passivity of the very same authority faced with the behavior of the criminal organizations that operate in the referenced state, which obliged diverse sectors of the Michoacán population to take up arms to defender themselves. That omission was aggravated by a governmental strategy that, far from restoring the peace and the state of law, it multiplied the factors for tension and rancor in the territories in conflict, first by permitting the proliferation of self-defense groups and later undertaking a campaign of criminalization and persecution against some of them, which began with the unjust incarceration of Hipólito Mora and now continues with the capture of Mireles Valverde.

In that sense, the accusations against the leader of Tepalcatepec –violations of the Federal Firearms and Explosives Law– appear as a masquerade of justice to give formal support to the capture of a personage whose true “fault,” according to what one can see, has been to maintain a posture less complacent towards the government than the other self-defense leaders, and to systematically reject the Enrique Peña Nieto administration’s actions of registering and disarming of civilian guards implanted in Michoacán.

For the rest, the continuation of the violence and deepening of the institutional and political crisis in the state, and the fact that the criminal organizations that operate there have not been dismantled or their businesses substantially affected, end up making right those who, like Mireles, have criticized the uselessness governmental actions and have pointed them out as a way of demobilizing the sectors of society that decided to rise up against organized crime.

In sum, the capture of the founder of the Michoacán autodefensas is one more exhibition of the erratic conduct, slanted and murky of the federal government in Michoacán, and could also result in a counterproductive maneuver for the government: if the federal authorities do not quickly begin a police or military operation –similar or larger than it launched against Mireles– to dismantle the criminal organizations that operate in Michoacán territory, society will have ample reason for questioning the alleged legalistic zeal of Peña in that state.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Translation: Chiapas Support Committee

Saturday, June 28, 2014

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2014/06/28/opinion/002a1edi




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