Dr. José Manuel Mireles Valverde, general counsel of the citizen Council of self-defense of Tepalcatepec, flatly rejects the versions published that self-defense and community guards of the Ruana, Buena Vista, Coalcoman, Los Reyes, Aquila and Aguililla groups warned Jesús Reyna that paralyzed Michoacan's Government if their detained colleagues last Wednesday are not freed soon.
Likewise, they flatly reject the versions that are being spread that they have issued an ultimatum of rising up against the State Government. This is a August 19th video.
The following is a video narrative, translated into English. Dr. Mireles being interviewed by a reporter named “Priscila” after the intro. The intro is what was said in the referenced video.
“We do not agree in the participation of the army and the absurdities what the governor of the state does, because for 12 years we have filed denounces, many times anonymously because if the people dare to show their faces, the report would be found tore in pieces left on the front door of their houses and then people would disappear or found death. We have always filed a report for rapes, executions and abductions in our region which have never been investigated. We had been warned by a member of the parliament of the congress of the state, the president of the justice commission of the state. She came to see us last week. ”The temporary governor is planning a way to stop you, incarcerate all the community leaders.”
"I replied but why I am going to be incarcerated if I have not committed a crime or any offense? “
“He is going to fabricate offenses to incarcerate all of you”
And we are noticed that he has already begun. He started with our brothers of Aquila because they want the leaders and the people that tried to defend their leaders. We are noticing that it’s true what the member of the parliament said and the same thing is going to happen to us. Even if we don’t have an offense to be incarcerated for; they are going to make one because that is the intention of that jerk that calls himself ‘substitute governor’ but that never in his life has done something for his town, nevertheless for the state of Michoacán.”
“We are not living in a state of right. We are in war and in what Chucho Reyna is provoking by asking the support of the army to abduct some people. That is causing more fury and making us wanting continue fighting. We do not want to fight against the state; we do not want to fight against the army or confront the federals.
We do not lack of courage, because if we have already thrown out the bastards that came into our houses, do you think that we are going to allow that this stupid person with his people come to abduct more people?
I want to make it clear to the gentleman that if he is not thinking of coming to help his state in the situation it is in, he should go somewhere else, he should resign and leave this state. There are people more capable that loves the state of Michoacán and that is willing to support it. We would all be happy to cease all our actions, if the new people that arrive to the state guarantee us that we will not have the problem that we have been having for 12 years.”
“We have developed the strategy and we will give a time limit to the representative of the state that came, for the release of our companions of Aquila and also the companions of La Ruana which have been more than 5 months arrested.
They are poor, humble, hardworking people that were arrested. We can’t conceive that the government of the state is justifying the abduction of more than 40 community guards in Aquila, because apparently they had fire arms exclusive use of the army and the state and national newspapers only mention five arms. Then if only five arms of exclusive use of the army were found, why do they arrest 45 people?
That does not justify the abduction and according to the videos that we saw, which we are going to pass to you, you will see that there was blood even though they are denying it. Poor people beaten down by the army itself and the state police that goes to those arrests. See it, that is the true and we want you to help us to spread the truth. We do not trust the communication media that comes to make a circus and drama out of us. We are seriously fighting and we want that you people fight with us but by helping us spread the truth.”
“Two fundamental options exist. The first one: we are going to paralyze every one of the functions of the government of the state of Michoacán in our municipalities.”
“If that first step does not succeed , we will absolutely not recognize the government and power of the state of Michoacán and we will create a free independent zone. That is why we cared so much that our brothers of Aquila will stand up in arms because Aquila occupies 60% of the Michoacán coasts and way we have free pass towards all the international economy, which forcedly has to arrive to Lázaro Cárdenas, which including the customs are of absolute control of “La Tuta” and also the other location that is very distant for us and for our products which is Manzanillo.
Here straight ahead we can make our international industrial corridor. You know that now the Chinese are very desirous of everything that we produce in Mexico. They are able to create their own port in Las Brisas or in San Juan de Lima and take out those places, all the production that they need from us and if we are in peace and producing, there is no way someone can beat us producing.”
Dr. Mireles, good afternoon, we want to know what is your reaction regarding what has been published by several communication media after the appearance of a video on the social networks which shows you saying that you would be calling to unrecognized the powers of the state government, encouraging the villages to stand up in arms. All of this due to the events occurring last Wednesday on the municipality of Aquila, here in Michoacán. What can you say about this, Dr. Mireles?
“I think there has been a wrong interpretation of the concepts that we were reviewing with direct questions made by a group of people which identified themselves as reporters of a non commercial newspaper.
That is how they presented themselves. They wanted to know the opinion of every one of the general counselors that had the meeting yesterday to analyze and give a concluding answer to the situation that presented the day before yesterday in the municipality of Aquila when the state supported by the army and navy arrested more than 40 community guards of the region that had internal issues and apparently related, first with 5 arrest warrants and secondly, the government of the state expressed that the rest of the people were taken because they were carrying arms of exclusive use of the army....continues next page...
I just want to clarify the conclusion of our general meeting of yesterday, first of all, moral support to the community companions of the region of Aquila, Michoacán. Secretariat of National Defense, Coronel Briones Sosa and the director of government of the state of Michoacán, Attorney Juan Carlos Becerra has our proposal. The only conclusion regarding that case is that we only wanted answers. The answers were allotted to be given next Monday because we were saying that the people that have arrest warrants should be the only ones to stay arrested.”
“Obviously that if they had 5 arrest warrants why did they arrested more than 40 people. About the arms of exclusive use of the army, the relation that local newspapers published was that only 5 long arms are of exclusive use of the army, so we insist why did they arrest 40?
I want you to know that a while ago, Mr. Juan Carlos Becerra was informing me that the requests we made at the conclusion of our assembly were heard, even yesterday, Coronel Briones already installed the 1st military base in one of the most critical spots of our border of Tepalcatepec with Coalcoman which is in the community of Pinolapa. So that means that 35 minutes after our meeting was concluded, we had the first answer on behalf of the Mexican army. Thank the army.”
On the other hand, Mr. Becerra is informing us that he is already considering the arrests of all the people that were carrying arms and they already are classifying those that had fire arms of exclusive use of the army and those that were carrying, let’s call it, sport arms, but at that time were being use for defense of their community of the companions of Aquila, which are rifles 22 and shotguns.
They are going to separate those and I understood that those people can be bailed out and soon return to their homes. That is the important thing but, let me make it clear, your servant, Jose Manuel Mireles Valverde, at any time is encouraging violence or revolution against the state. I want to clear out that us, the groups of auto defense, the only common enemy we have is organized crime, which have feet and head and for 12 years has been messing our life, economy and the property of all of our villages.
We do not have conditions to be on battle with the government of the state. It is true that politically, there has been much controversy regarding the sayings of substitute governor, which claim that we are all criminals and I have responded also some bad comments based on what he has accused us of but those comments have nothing to do with me having to call together a revolution in my state.
We have said that if the state is not interested that our municipalities are fighting on our own, we can declare ourselves independent and call ourselves some other name or organization. If the state is not interested in us, because we have asked support for our state, just as we are receiving support from the federal government and Mexican army; we could also receive the attention that the state needs to give us.
Everything we have gone through in these 12 years is because of the abandonment the state has left us in. I would like to take the opportunity to leave a reflection up in the air, without intentions to offend anybody but to make it very clear, gentlemen of the state, government of Michoacán, we, the group of auto defense of Tierra Caliente and part of the mountains of Coalcoman, Aguililla, Chinicuila and Aquila, have a reflexive comment:
“Since we stood up in arms against organized crime on February 24th of 2013, next week will be 6 months already, since that time, there has not been one pin lost. We have not had rapes, extortions or cars stolen, except for the death of our companion Luis Paz Miranda on May 22nd. Since then we have not had any delinquent offense, minor, federal nor major. The question which is reflexive is left in the air: we are civilians, we have not had the need to take training against delinquency; we are not police officers that needed to pass any training or certification but we have had 6 months in which not even one pin has been lost from our municipalities. In Morelia, today, there is an average of 20 stolen cars, there is abductions, executions, extortions; we leave it to your consideration but please listen to our prayers, we need the support of the state not the war with it. Thank you so much.”
Dr. Mireles regarding all this information that is going around, as I was telling you at the beginning of the interview, in some relevant communication media, that some auto defense groups and community guards of La Ruana, Buena Vista, Coalcoman, Los Reyes, Aquila and Aguililla had warned the government of Jesus Reyna that they would paralyze Michoacán if they companions that were arrested, last Wednesday, were not released briefly and that you, as well, threaten to emancipate from the state, the municipalities that count with auto defense groups and that you asked the people of Michoacán to stand up against the state government because the war is not against anybody else than with the government of the state. This was published in a relevant communication media, Dr. Mireles, and also in other communication media as well.
“Well, that is so sad, that the press instead of spreading the truth, they are spreading personal opinions of the authors of those communication nets. It’s a shame that instead of supporting us to free from organized crime, now they want us to fight against the government itself. We do not need of more enemies; we have organized crime as enemies and we have declared war until the end.”
“We are grateful that we have the support of the Mexican army and the federal police of the Republic. We do not want to have to confront the state also; I don’t know how they did to conclude that, maybe they made one of those questions that say: ‘What if they come to kill you and your family on behalf of the government, what would you do?’ Probably we answered that we were going to take the state, something like that, but I don’t remember what the question was, simply I don’t remember the people that were there; I don’t know who they are.”
Well, yes, in the video that caused so much controversy, precisely, it is not seen or heard the person or people that were interviewing you or what questions were asked that led you to answer in that way.
“Exactly, it must have been one of those questions, or maybe is an edited video too, you know that sometimes someone says something and on the news, they show our face but saying things that we never said. We don’t like that words are put in our mouths. We don’t like that our social movement is turning into a circus.
I begged all the national and international media if you have any doubt regarding any video that come to you from whomever, call me. You have a personal phone number of mine and you can call me with confidence to confirm or to correct what you are watching or what it seems to be said from me. It is good that one of the prestigious, serious, national net has called us before 2 pm to know only and exclusively of the conclusion the groups of auto defense came up to, which I expressed freely and completely and that is the truth. Right now, we still have much work to do against organized crime.
Every day they try to get in; we cannot get distracted by political or direct arguments with the government of the state. The government of the state has also many things to do trying, hopefully, of beating down crime. But we do remind the government of the state that we are not the criminals; we are the civilians that are only trying to defend ourselves. We are not taking over the functions of the municipal police, federals or the army. We are just helping to maintain free and peaceful our municipalities from the presence of organized crime and of all the problems that they have caused. That is what we are doing. We are helping while they organize themselves and take the responsibility that constitutionally corresponds to them. When that happens, we will retreat peacefully to our normal activities and take over our families.”
Finally, Dr. Mireles, what is the current situation in the municipality of Aquila due to the events of last Wednesday?
Dr. Mireles: Thank you Priscila