By: Sarai Díaz
Morelia, Michoacán— Following the signing of the agreements between the Federation and the Council of Self-Defense Groups of Michoacán (CAM) on January 2014, one of the most urgent requirements is the release of the 79 community members who are still detained to this day for protecting themselves from organized crime.
After the uprising in February 2013, there were 96 members of the self-defense groups of Michoacán who were detained, 51 in the community of La Ruana, municipality of Buenavista Tomatlán, and 45 in Aquila, of which only 18 have been released.
Furthermore, last Wednesday night Hipólito Mora Chávez, leader and founder of the self-defense groups of La Ruana, was ordered to be arrested. He had put pressure on the Federation to comply with the release of the members who are still detained.
It is necessary to note that the arrests preceded the agreement with the federal government to institutionalize the armed movement, signed on January 27th of this year, even involving the release of the self-defense members.
Following the agreements, the self-defense leaders, José Manuel Mireles Valverde and Hipólito Mora, expressed on several occasions the lack of the federal government in not being able to comply with its commitments.
La Ruana, Buenavista Tomatlán
On March 7 2013, 34 members of the self-defense groups of La Ruana in Buenavista Tomatlán were detained by the Mexican Army for allegedly receiving weapons from organized crime, specifically the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación.
Relatives of the detainees stated that the guns that they carried were taken from the members of the Caballeros Templarios as part of their job as self-defense groups. They also reported that during their detention, they were kept isolated and without the help of a lawyer.
Of the 34 detained, 11 were transferred to the Federal Social Readaptation Center No. 1 "Altiplano" (CEFERESO) located in Almoloya de Juárez; another 11 to the Federal Social Readaptation Center No. 5 of Veracruz, and another 10 to the Federal Social Readaptation Center No. 3 of Matamoros, Tamaulipas.
It is noteworthy that on March 5, the members had taken over the Municipal Presidency in Buenavista Tomatlán and detained the leader and five elements of the Municipal Police for alleged ties to organized crime, they were later released.
Four days later, 17 other members of the Community Police of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, municipality of Buenavista Tomatlán, Michoacán, were also detained by the Mexican Army. Up to this day, none of the 51 self-defense members have been released.
On August 15, members of the Mexican Army, Navy, and State Police carried out an operation in Aquila in which they detained 45 members of the self-defense groups; five of them had an arrest warrant and the rest were detained for possession of weapons.
Later, 40 of them were transferred to the Federal Social Readaptation Center (CEFERESO) in Veracruz, and five more to the state Social Readaptation Center (CERESO) “David Franco Rodríguez” of Morelia.
On August 21, a judge ordered the release of 18 of the 45 community guards, which were transferred to the town of Coalcomán, where they remained there protected by federal forces.
The then acting governor of Michoacán, Jesus Reyna, denied that there could be a negotiation with the self-defense groups in order to release their members.
Meanwhile José Manuel Mireles, has expressed the injustice that the federal government commits, by not ordering the release of the self-defense members; they were only protecting their families from the insecurity prevailing in their municipalities, given the absence of authorities.
Source: Michoacán 3.0