By Carlos Arrieta | Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat
Due to a lack of evidence, the Third Criminal Court, located in Morelia, issued a release order to Cemeí Verdía Zepeda, former leader of the autodefensas in the Sierra-Costa area of Michoacán. Verdía had been detained since July 19, 2015, while he ate breakfast in a stand in the community of La Placita, located in the municipality of Aquila.
The leader of the Community Police of Santa María de Ostula was accused by the Attonrey General of the State of Michoacán of homicide, in which he was freed today Thursday, December 24, 2015.
According to the decision, there was insufficient evidence to determine that Verdía had participated in the homicide of Argel Mejía Valdovinos, who was shot during a shootout with the Community Police, after the ambush against Verdía in May of this year.
“At the time of the commission of the facts, in proceedings, the probable criminal could not be credited of homicide. Consequently, Cemeí Verdía Zepeda is decreed released under reserve required by law,” the court clerk read.
Héctor Zepeda, commander of the Fuerza Rural in Coahuayana, said that “it’s a big truth that we are all waiting for Cemeí; he has never ceased to be the leader, and never ceased to be the commander of the Community Police of the coast and it’s good that now they are going to do justice, that is what we will applaud our government, that those who are found guilty fall but those who are innocent will always remain free.”
According to state officials, Verdía will be released today from the Social Rehabilitation Center David Franco Rodríguez, also known as “Mil Cumbres”, where he has been imprisoned since July 29, 2015.
Cemeí was accused of murder and has fought three additional legal proceedings: one for federal crimes and two for aggravated robbery and triple homicide of which he has been acquitted.
The indigenous leader was detained in the morning of July 19, 2015 while he was eating breakfast with his bodyguards in a food stand in the community of La Placita, located in the municipality of Aquila and later transported to a federal prison.
Cemeí Verdía was noted for the illegal bearing of weapons for the exclusive use of the Mexican Army, a crime which was not proven, 10 days later, he was acquitted; however, while in prison, they filled out another order for ordinary crimes, which was similarly litigated in the courts and in the trial 358/2015-III.
Source: Animal Politico