"Now I no longer refer to it as organized crime, it is now authorized crime, it is a disgrace that there are still people without anyone to defend them."
"I am a prisoner in the Cereso Hermosillo, Sonora, for 14 months and still my legal status is not defined…. I am a political prisoner," said Jose Manuel Mireles Valverde, leader and founder of the Autodefensa Movement (self-defense) of Tierra Caliente (Michoacán) on an audio which was broadcast on social networks.
His well-known voice is easily recognized in the audio, however it is a voice that resonates weak, and weary.
In the recording that lasts nine minutes, the coastal autodefensa leader detained since his arrest last June 27, 2014, in La Mira, Lazaro Cardenas, recalled that is imprisoned for defending his people, and mourns the recent killings of several autodefensa coordinators in the region.
"Now I no longer refer to it as organized crime, it is now authorized crime, it is a disgrace that there are still people without anyone to defend them," he charged, noting that although there are federal and military elements in communities, they do nothing to defend people."
He said; if he thought his detention would stop the violence in the region, he would be willing to sacrifice. He asserts that the prosecutors have been playing games with his case for 14 months. He charges continual delays occur when a prosecutor or “expert” fails to be present at hearings, a ploy to extend his time in prison.
He reiterated that the autodefensas have waited three years for justice to be conducted in the state, but only received incarceration or execution of its leaders.
He mentioned the autodefensa leaders of Aquila, Cemeí Verdía Zepeda, imprisoned for a month, (released then immediately arrested for murder) and in Yurécuaro, Enrique Hernández, murdered in May.
And the leaders of Churumuco, Huetamo and Nueva Italia, also executed during last month, "it is sad that they are killing leaders who only took up arms to defend themselves."
The audio comes to an abrupt end it the middle of his speaking.