Can the AD trust the govt. to honor the agreement or is this what the future holds for them?
"Jailers of Self-Defense Groups Say, "These Dogs Don't Deserve to Eat"
La Jornada: Fernando Camacho Servín
translation Jane Brundage
La Ruana, Michoacán - "These dogs don't deserve to eat." Using an argument that doesn't appear in the prison operating manuals of any country in the world, a guard at the Puente Grande Prison felt entitled to steal the food that a prisoner's relatives had brought to him and a group of community [self-defense] guards.
"We brought 34 tortillas: two for each of the boys. But the prison guard seized them and started to distribute them to his colleagues, and he told me that. That those sons of whatever did not deserve anything," remembers Rosa Isela Tinoco Cárdenas, her voice choked with indignation. She is the mother of Maricio Díaz Tinoco, one of the detainees.
After they were arrested by Army troops on March 7 and 11 of last year, the 49 members of the self-defense groups from the community of La Ruana in the Michoacán municipality of Buenavista Tomatlán, have received, in the various prisons where they are scattered, a treatment even worse than what the drug traffickers might receive from those who fought them.
In an interview with La Jornada, Tinoco Cárdenas recalled that after having received basic instruction on how to use a gun,
"my son and others (soldiers) were taken by deceit, telling them that they were going to take them to a two-hour routine review, but that review has already been going on for 11 months."
In a fast track operation, the community [self-defense] guards were flown to Mexico City and then dispersed in various prisons across the country, "every man-Jack of them because they are dangerous criminals," the woman says with a half smile where incredulity mixes with bravery.
"Here the Devil Is Blue"
Accused of organized crime and terrorism, several community guards were moved by land from Mexico City to Puente Grande, Jalisco, a journey of more than six hours. They were subjected to threats and blows all the way, reported Tinoco Cárdenas.
Once in their cells, they were subjected to a regimen of strict behavior, in which they are allowed to speak on the telephone only for 10 minutes with their loved ones every nine days, and they are punished with up to 200 days without receiving visits for raising their heads without permission or for helping another inmate in any way.
In order to make clear who rules the prison--as if the episode of the stolen food were not enough--, the prison guards amuse themselves by asking newcomers what color the devil is. If it occurs to anyone to say red, he is contradicted with a blow in response.
"Here the devil is blue," say the prison guards, an allusion to the color of their uniforms.
Imprisoned by the same anguish, doña Rafaela Madrid Gómez hasn't been able to know more about her son José Ricardo Cervantes Madrid--29 years old--than what very brief phone calls allow in which, she feels, they will not let him speak as he would like. The woman says:
"When I ask him how he is, he has only told me 'well, getting fatter', and then nothing else is heard. He has five children. He is the support of his family. They have him in Toluca Prison, but I haven't been able to go to see him, because I don't have the wherewithal."
José Ricardo, whose wife lost a pregnancy of four months due to the stress produced by his apprehension, had to "enter the self-defense group" in order to defend his family and himself from extortion by The Knights Templar, who began to demand that he give them at least two pesos [USD $0.15] of the 20 or 30 pesos [USD $1.48 or $2.22] that they paid him for each case of limes that he could pick, but that also could be only eight pesos [USD $0.59] in the worst seasons.
None of the detainees, say their mothers or wives, are either members of the New Generation Jalisco Cartel, as has been said in some quarters, and they are not receiving a salary to defend their community.
María, wife of Raúl Sánchez Sánchez--by whom "he puts his hands to the fire"--, laughs at accusations that the self-defense members receive money from groups challenging The Templars or from the government itself. She laughs when she sees the condition of her bathroom or the leaks on the roof of her entire house.
"We are the kind of criminals that live by cutting pinzanes (a fruit also known as fruit guamúchil) in order to sell them for 10 pesos [USD $0.74] a bag, [we live] by chaponear (chopping) and by asking for alms," she concludes.
Re: Can the AD trust the govt. to honor the agreement or is this what the future holds for them?
The story presented by DD is an example of what the present holds, it has little relationship to the agreement made by Senors Beltran and Mora, in concert with the rest of the Council, and the Federals.
Those boys that were arrested, they were acting illegally, they were acting criminally.
They represent the 'status que' which so many here seem to think is a viable substitute for the rule of law.
Mora and Beltran got 'em this far, don't change horses in mid-stream.
Their goals are less expansive than many here have for their movement.
They may well attain theirs.