Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Zeta: Interview with Doctor José Manuel Mireles Valverde

Translated by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: ZETA

               Dr. Mireles has put down the weapons and now seeks to "awaken consciences ".

After spending almost three years in prison, José Manuel Mireles rules out re-leading an armed movement. Now, the 59-year-old doctor travels the country collecting money to free 258 self-defense groups who are still imprisoned; meets with organized groups of civil society and criticizes the ruling class. Question: "Or do you conceive that a poor nation has billionaire rulers?"

José Manuel Mireles Valverde has changed short sleeve shirts and jeans for a dark suit and tie, but retains his traditional black hat. He is about to enter a gala dinner in Tijuana, where dozens of people await him.

As he has done in other cities, that night he will offer a talk, he will dedicate copies of his book to the assistants, with whom he will live some hours. The money raised will finance the legal defense of 258 self-defense groups that remain incarcerated in Mexico.


That's what Dr. Mireles is doing now. After spending two years and eleven months in prison, accused of carrying guns along with 69 members of his self-defense group, he ruled out re-heading an armed movement.

"I continue to build trenches and not just in Michoacán, but throughout the nation. No longer nothing more armed, it is not needed, now my trenches are with university students, academics, workers' organizations, peasants, " he said in an interview with ZETA .

The 59-year-old doctor regained his freedom on May 12, 2017, the day after a long legal fight, he was granted the benefit of bail, but during the time he was in prison he suffered three pre-infarctions and a heart attack. .

"The day I left the captivity, I professionally considered that I had fifteen days to live. I was wrong for three days, on May 24 I was already in Cardiology in Mexico, with a sudden attack, " he recalls.

"The solution is never for peoples to arm themselves," now says the doctor.

After more than a year,  Dr. Mireles is recovered. Having been acquitted of the crimes that led to his imprisonment, his case was closed, but nine of the men who were detained with him in a federal operation carried out in Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán, are still being held.

Although some of them had already obtained their freedom under bail, they were returned to prison when accused of stealing wire from a fence or because of errors in their homes, the doctor said.

Here the interview of Dr. Mireles with ZETA :

- In Mexico, is a self-defense more pursued than a narco?

"Sure, I saw them inside the federal prison. 90 % of the inmates are not criminals, they are victims, those who must be imprisoned are their employers, those who ordered them to commit a crime, but those are not prisoners because they are the ones who eat breakfast with the authorities and that is why they never touch or see the inside of the jail."

However, for the former leader of the self-defense groups, a narco is not the same as a criminal. The distinction, from his reasoning, is that "a drug dealer is a provider of foreign currency, there are communities that have schools, drainage, electric light thanks to what you call narco ".

- So, how do you call them?

"Since man left caverns and forests, the world was divided into two social classes, the civilized and the barbarians. The civilized learned to till the land to put up the seed, to ensure their food through work. The barbarians were hidden in the mountains, the ravines or behind the walls, waiting for the harvest to be ready so they can steal it. Now they are not civilized or barbarians, they are productive people and work with organized crime. Do you know some organized crime wretch who works? They have never worked a day in their fucking life, they are watching, how much they are earning and the day they are going to harvest they kill them for their fortnight ( quincena = bi-monthly salary, usual type of payment arrangement for many Mexican workers), even if it is 1,000 pesos.

"I am not a narco, nor do I agree with the illegal practices of the people who are dedicated to that, but unfortunately, thanks to that, there are entire towns that can eat."

- Does the country's economic model have to change so that the narco stops fulfilling these functions?

"Simply and sensible yes , the authorities should carry out its work, that it detains all the sons of  bitches who only dedicate themselves to stealing and killing for money. Among the best institutions established in the nation to provide security to the people, there is organized crime and more crime. "

- What is the role you play now?

"Awaken consciences, nothing more. Yes today, everyone, from all social levels, universities, academics, workers, farmers, day laborers, ranchers, agriculturists, entrepreneurs, if we start by awakening consciences, first inside our homes, then in our work places, in our schools, in our neighborhoods, streets, neighbors, compadres, relatives, friends, a time will come when we do not have to sell our soul to the devil, if we want to live well or live in a nation in peace. "

- Enrique Peña Nieto is months away from the end of his Presidency, what is the balance left?

"More than 138,000 murders in his period, more than 134,000 disappeared. More than 40,000 displaced families and still the very wretched, 90 days left until he leaves, and he still takes out a loan of $10 billion dollars, for what ?,  he is not even leaving a stable or solid health system. How is it possible for a magistrate to earn 600,000 pesos a month while a worker can take a house of 600,000 pesos to pay for it in twenty years? Or do you conceive that a poor nation has billionaire rulers? No, all that has to change. For that we voted;  32,000,000 Mexicans. "

- Do you think then that Andrés Manuel López Obrador can change that panorama?

"Not only he, we Mexicans are the ones who seek that change. We already achieved our first victory in the election, the gentleman does not have any magic wand to solve the problems of the nation, but he has the Mexicans that we want the change. I believed in him and I still believe in him. The change comes and goes hard. It is going to shake all the strata of society that were accustomed to rob the nation without working one day or giving anything in return to the country. "

- You already mentioned the more than 130,000 homicides and disappearances, but do you think it is possible in terms of the relatives, of the victims, to give them justice? Can it be healed?

"Of course. If each citizen, in the activity that we have to develop, we do what belongs to us. That the magistrates, ministers and judges do their constitutional work, the public ministries, that the municipal police do and do not associate with organized crime to fuck the citizen, that everyone does their work and things do change. If constitutionally and based on Mexican jurisprudence, no Mexican citizen should be prosecuted or prosecuted when being detained far from his place of origin, but close to his family and friends to facilitate social reintegration. I asked the judge why they sent the Michoacanos to Sonora or why they sent the Yaquis from Sonora to Yucatan?,  Who are the main violators of the Law and of Justice in this country? Those forced to enforce and enforce it, that is what has to change. Others can do the job as the police to take care of your neighborhood and your neighborhood, others can do the work of the best judges in Mexico. They have already demonstrated that their corruption is not only physical, it is intellectual, it is moral ".

                                                                      Gala in Tijuana, BC

- When did you realize that this transition was necessary? No longer to be armed or in the villages, but to leave ...

"Never, never the solution is that the civilians arm themselves to defend themselves, that's what the institutions are for, but since they never did it, we had to do it. I am fully aware that what we did was not right, but it was the only thing we could do if we wanted to stay alive. I do not care about property or productivity, but life. We have self-defenses in 23 states of the Republic, they do not necessarily have to arm themselves, they have to defend themselves, but if necessary, they have to do what is necessary. When justice is contravened by law, justice must prevail even if it comes out of the hands of the same people. "

Violence, An Institutional Problem:

Through Fundación Mireles, the former leader of the self-defense groups has visited states such as Oaxaca, Zacatecas and Querétaro, as well as Mexico City to give lectures on the self-defense groups.

So he came to Baja California, where in addition to holding private meetings with activists and businessmen in Tecate, Rosarito and Tijuana, he presented his book "Todos Somos Autodefensas: El Despertar de un Pueblo Dormido", in which Mireles narrates the struggle he started in Michoacán in 2013.

Since then, the surgeon became a symbol of civil resistance to the power of organized crime and in the shadow of the government. Not only at the events that he appears people  approach to ask for a photograph, during the interview a woman recognizes him and shouts at him to greet him at a distance.

Others even take selfies with the doctor in the background, no matter if he is busy in an interview, in the middle of a conversation or signing a book.

After three days in Tijuana and hours before his flight leaves, Doc Mireles still has time to attend this interview and talk with those who approach him, either to share his admiration, present projects and even to contribute money for his foundation. This is the case in almost every city that visits.

During the interview,  D. Mireles talks about a town of 6,000 inhabitants in Morelos to explain why the public assumes the tasks of public safety. "He was reviled, destroyed, exploited by thirty guys who are not even Mexican, extorting, kidnapping and executing people until they hung one of the extortionists on the flagpole. They had warned that the ''delinquent we stop will be lynched'' and they did not believe it. If there is no one to defend them and the people decide that this is their only solution, they will do it and nobody will stop them. That is why the institutions must fulfill their obligation. "

- In the states that you have visited, what is the common denominator that triggers insecurity, violence?


"Across the nation, it's an institutional problem.
What was our war cry in Michoacán, after assassinations, kidnappings, dismemberments, rapes to our women ?: we ask for  efficient public security, a fair administration of justice that does not exist in the whole nation. Today there are 27 PRI bandit governors who looted the citizens, who gave the children the tap water in the chemotherapy to cheat all the money away and claimed that the chemists had cost them dearly. Don Gerardo, from Nayarit, who was put in jail for six years for stealing four cans of tuna to feed his children and the same day he entered prison; then there is the guy who stole 8 billion pesos from the Bank of Mexico and deposited a bond of  $7,000,000 dollars so that he would not be put in jail ... 

Is justice just for those who fucked us over? "

Note: I am reading this book right now, fantastic back round of the eternal fights indigenous peoples have had to endure forever including his own personal family history.  


46 comments:

  1. Ni que chapo. Ni que mayo ni que la verga este si es heroe mexicano y es michoacano para que les duela mas.saludos yaqui i love reading your work desde la tia donde se le apreciaba a este señor!

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    1. Pues, muchas gracias; a su servicio.......

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    2. Ese es el problema con uds los michoacanos, se toman todo a pecho. Respetos para el señor y si ni que compararlo con el chapo , Mayo o mencho el vale su peso en oro. Pero esta muy lejos de zapata o villa. Respetos para michoacan y su gente valiente de un servidor de Durango y Sonora.

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    3. Wannabe revolucionario

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    4. 8:28 revolución es cambio, bueno o malo ya se sabra. Pero por lo menos este señor tubo y hizo algo por cambiar el desorden que hay en su estado, si hubiera 32 iguales en todo México las cosas fueran distintas.

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  2. Watch the documentary, "Cartel Land" to understand his story

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    1. God bless this true Mexican hero. I would love to see him have a very private "tell it like it is" session with Donald Trump.
      Mexico-Watcher

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    2. Cartel land does not do this great man justice.

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    3. The doc was a real eye opener. Broke my heart when the "good guys" became the very thing they originally swore to fight.

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  3. The coolest badass ever.

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  4. This fool sold out man.

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    1. What have you done lately?

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    2. My thoughts, either go big or go home.

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    3. Doesn’t change the fact that he sold out. Plain and simple.

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  5. I’ve followed the good Doctor from the moment I observed his autdefencia forming in his home town. I told people I worked with, that were in DC, that this guy was an indicator of just how bad things were deteriorating in Mexico and the concept of a Mexican Spring was not that far away. Most of it fell on deaf ears, but some listened. Now, That I’ve retired, I still track the Doctor because I still believe he is one of the few who could unit the victims of Mexico. If the new President fails, and I believe he will, then the influence of the good Doctor will go up even more.

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  6. One day you will listen and see the truth from both their mouths that day will come when you will come to the realization that you are idolizing a lie. En Michoacán no se perdona nada y no se olvida nada.

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  7. Is he for real in denying the necessity of groups are arming themselves or is he saying it to keep the government off his back?

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    Replies
    1. The government wants to run him like a puppet.

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    2. I think they already are running him.

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    3. Ya hes lost it. Half of his ideas are foolish. Hes bought and paid for now.

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  8. We need someone like Mireles here in Beirut,Lebanon .
    I’m a recovering addict and i used to go to Hezbollah strongholds to purchase drugs ,they are invincible in their homes and towns and they steal cars and kidnap as well but not Mexico level kidnappings .

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  9. What a human being!

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  10. The government of Mexico, had him put in prison, for the sole reason of being a leader of Autodefensas. Furthermore, still his members are in prison. And at while, hoodlums cartels, run rampant killing, raping kidnapping people. Mexico is in favor of crime always happening.

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  11. Despite his merits the dude in Cartel Land seemed creepy with the young girlfriend , I think she was like 18 or 19?
    And he grabbed her leg like it was property.
    Its like the power went to his head.

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    1. I cringed as well. And i spoke to him privately about it and how that behavior is perceived by americans. said this knowing full well in Mexico it is not uncommon for a man to have a mistress and to have a relationship with a female 20 or even 30 years younger. A reporter here who has lived in mexico for decades, has written about his wife being 25 years younger.

      The law in Mexico demonstrates how girls are viewed, to marry a boy must be 16 a girl only 14.

      In this case but for an airplane crash he would have been with a much younger woman, a teen. He had asked permission from her parents. Does it make it right? Not in my world, but it is not for me to judge.

      I look at the totality of the man. I love this man, he is passionate for the cause, hates societal wrong, fights to the death for justice, he is an honorable man and am honored to have become his friend.

      A person wrote in calling him a pedo, he is not that. in any sense of the word. the same person said he hopes I am kidnapped, tortured and hanged. He is an idiot, who by his comment exemplifies how stupid he is, possibly mentally ill, and sits in error side of judgement.

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    2. open and honest, thank you for the comment

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    3. Chivis, I adore you.

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    4. Yep saw the documentary and thats were he lost me, eventhough am not expecting a Saint he looked weak and prepotent with that young girl. Props to him for doing something againSt a system That Can NOT be fixed.

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    5. I fully understand its the Culture of mexico. Just like stealing from the people when u are political

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    6. Not all cultures are equal. Culture or not its not ok to have a mistress. Its wrong... and women who put up with it because its " culture " are idiots.

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  12. Fuken Mexican government all fiked up, could care less for the pheasant's.

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  13. This guy has balls of steel but learned that you can't beat the mafia in their own game. He is actually is a very smart man and using his influence in universities and other places to talk about the struggle of facing cartels. My respects.

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  14. In Cartel Land, I didn't know so much about the young woman, but the Autodefensas who were chasing a Jetta and pulled over a SUV and pulled the driver out, sticking a gun under the guy's chin. I don't know, why they changed directions all of a sudden. This same man is seen later on sitting on a bench in the Autodefensas Jail. You can hear people screaming in the background. It's at this point you realize, that the Autodefensas became the same people they were chasing and resorting to torture. Jose' confronts the group over the violence, but he is losing control. Papa Smurf, laid their guns down for the Federales, donned federal police uniforms and given automatic long guns.

    I believe in the article above, it is not the number of groups, but individuals. I do not believe these people were put in prison and the power trip they were taking was getting out of hand. I agree, they need to take up arms and defend their homes and mete out justice. But they can it too far and become what they are fighting, including major drug traffickers.

    Many people on this site, want to burn the people that burned people to death, take the killers and give them a slow death. The people they wish to send to hell, might have company.

    Mexico needs an effective system. It is not hard to identify the arterial roads that feed out of the Tierra Caliente. These are the routes that everyone is fighting for. If the common person knows this, why doesn't the police forces?

    Of course, they do know and that's the real problem.

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    1. What ever happened to Papa Smurf.

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    2. As far as i know, he laid down his gun, donned a policia uniform and got a nice gun.

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    3. And maliciously removed mireles as spokesman for autodefensas. Mr. Beltran is accused of allowing ex Templar members into the autodefensas which mireles fought.

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  15. Mireles se vendio and he ended up where he wanted in the spotlight

    - Michoacano

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  16. He has signed his rights away to the point where he is doing all he can without earning a bullet. What is needed more of is social communications. Undercover work to pry out the number of mansions owned by $35,000 yr elected officials. Their million peso automobiles, their eight figure foreign bank accounts. The only thing that cut the throat of organized crime in the EUA was the formation of the Internal Revenue Service. I do not have that many years left to see it happen in Mexico.

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    1. I don’t think that will ever happen in Mexico. Just like drug use will never go away.

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    2. Fragile as it may be -Hope- is the only foundation supporting the average fulano(a). People who have not lived in a society of corruption for siglo mas siglo do not have any idea of how to go about dismantling a thoroughly inept and selfish government and judiciary. The few that are honest are scared to go public.

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  17. I too have been following Dr. Mireles for years and consider him an honorable true hero. Unfortunately in Mexico you have many who are ignorant and will believe gossip than actual true facts. Cartel Land does not cover half of Dr. Mireles life and accomplishments.
    Sara

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  18. Diokis.. what difference did he make? None. You cant beat the system.

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  19. He is in danger. The amlo will consider him threat.

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  20. The government impeded the autodefense movement just as it headed toward the critical mass needed to affect the status quo. By infiltrating, co-opting and jailing the burgeoning members and core players of the movement, the government stole its spirit. The doctor was broken by the time he was released. He can go talk to students, but to directly enforce and maintain the police function of the government, hold officials accountable, and/or change the warped system of justice or lack there of is beyond what is allowed because it is a threat to the established corruption.

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  21. READ the book, preferably en la lengua, Español.
    Some serious history in it.

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