Mireles: “I am a political prisoner”


José Manuel Mireles behind bars with head shaved

José Manuel Mireles behind bars with head shaved

By: Sanjuana Martínez, Special to La Jornada

Doctor José Manuel Mireles Valverde laughs, cries, gets emotional when his lawyer Talía Vázquez Alatorre tells him about the shows of support that he is receiving because of his arrest, and laughs loudly when he finds out that people are shaving their heads as a sign of solidarity. Next, with firmness and conviction, recognizes that prison, was a foreseen scenario in his activity as an autodefensa and puts out the definition of his situation: “I am a political prisoner.”

Prisoner number 5557 of the Federal Center for Social Re-adaptation (Cefereso, its acronym in Spanish) 11 located in Hermosillo, Sonora, after federal judge Armando Wong dictated an order of formal prison against him in criminal cause of action 137/2014, together with his three escorts Javier Reyes Magaña, Salvador Mendoza García and Gerardo López Casillas, for the alleged crimes of “carrying firearms for the exclusive use of the Army and (crimes) against health, in its category of narcomenudeo with the specific charge of simple possession of marijuana and cocaine.”

Crimes that, according to his defense, are false: “We are against the order for formal prison for two things: one, for grave due process violations and other, because of the declarations of the public officials that place him as a political prisoner,” Talía Vázquez Alatorre says in an interview with La Jornada, who tells the details of her one-hour visit to her defendant in prison.

Doctor Mireles’ defense team prepares the amparo [1], the appeal and, at the same time, a complaint to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR): “We have 15 working days to go against the order of formal prison, while the case continues, but we seek to arrive at international instances like the IACHR, where we already initiated the necessary steps.”

Alfredo Castillo did not comply

According to the papers of statements for resolving the legal situation of Doctor Mireles, to which La Jornada has had access, the lawyer Salvador Molina Navarro makes an allegation about obedience to the law and the justification for the autodefensas based on an analysis presented by the el academic Jaime Cárdenas, where they argue the “non-chargeability” against those processed due to the fact that they belong to a known “social movement” like the autodefensas of Michoacán.

The defense considers that the doctor and his three escorts are victims of as “illegal arrest,” realized without an arrest warrant and without being treated as a case of being caught in the act or of urgency, which contravenes Article 16 of the Constitution. They argue that Doctor Mireles Valverde suffered “acts of torture” and a judge’s omission exists by not investigating the facts, besides he was not permitted to make an allowed call to a defender inside then time limit set by law and the evidence the authorities presented was “planted,” which makes them false and illegal.

They point out that “torture, like that of which the accused were victims, including since their detention, is aggravated even more on the person of José Manuel Mireles Valverde, because he was blindfolded for no reason or justification, making him believe that they would throw him into the, even impeding his immediate communication as is his inalienable right, annuls each and every piece of evidence that the Public Ministry (district attorney’s office) would be able to gather in the investigation stage,” says the text of allegations in favor of Doctor Mireles, which consists of 55 pages.

Among the arguments presented, is the “legitimate defense,” personal and collective, due to the fact that the government has not guaranteed security in Michoacán.

“From here the state of necessity in which society is found to lack legal security on the part of State forces. The lack of legal security in which the inhabitants of different sectors of the population are found is evident; they are found unprotected before attempts against their integrity, as much physical as patrimonial, because of the of organized crime organizations. As a consequence of that and as a reaction to an attack on their physical and patrimonial integrity, they find themselves in complete necessity of defending themselves and their property collectively. From there, one can infer the result of the conduct that is employed to safeguard the property of the population, by seizing control of any means of defense that may be feasible, to repel the aggressions of their transgressors.”

The defense insists that Doctor Mireles is a “political prisoner” due to the fact that it has been officials like the Commissioner for Security in Michoacán, Alfredo Castillo, and the Secretary of Governance, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, who have declared that the detainee is a prisoner for not having complied with the May accords.

The lawyer Talía Vázquez specifies: “The one who did not comply with any of the accords was Castillo. He did not release the 517 prisoners from the self-defense groups, in Michoacán alone; nor did he free Hipólito Mora before May 10. And, above all, he did not comply with the arrest of La Tuta and neither did he re-establish the state of law. Nothing happened. The one who broke the pact was Alfredo Castillo and not Doctor Mireles. That also shows that he is a political prisoner.”


[1] According to Wikipedia, a recurso de amparo in Mexico is a legal procedure to protect a person’s human rights.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Translation: Chiapas Support Committee

Monday, July 7, 2014

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2014/07/07/politica/015n1pol




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