Source: El Diario de Juarez, January 18, 2016. http://diario.mx/Nacional/2016-01-18_ce8915f2/2016-01-18/ Federal District-- The 5th District Court denied the dismissal of charges against Jose Manuel Mireles, former leader of the Michoacan self defense forces, incarcerated since June 27, 2014.
With this ruling, the activist must continue his trial from the federal prison in Hermosillo, Sonora, charged with violating the Federal Law on Firearms and Explosives when he went in with other self defense forces to take control over the security in the town of La Mira.
"The Motion to Dismiss the ongoing criminal prosecution, brought by the defense on behalf of Jose Manuel Mireles Valverde, is not well founded," reads the judge's ruling.
Ignacio Mendoza, Mireles' defense lawyer, had requested the dismissal of the case based on the argument that the law did not apply to his client.
According to Mendoza, Mireles acted with de facto authority from the Government in carrying out public security functions during a moment of crisis caused by the presence of organized crime groups who were destroying several regions of the state.
He felt that the ones who should be in prison are the authorities who made pacts with armed civilians, registered their firearms and carried out joint patrols with them.
"We all saw that (former federal commissioner for security in Michoacan, Alfredo) Castillo not only negotiated agreements with the self defense forces, but carried out joint patrols with them, registered their restricted use firearms and afterwards gave them official weapons," he charged.
The former Deputy Prosecutor for the State also announced that he will appeal the judge's ruling.
Governor Silvano Aureoles announced the ruling even before Mireles' lawyer was notified.
"I understnd that, once again, the ruling went against what the Mireles defense had asked for," he commented in an interview during the inauguration of the new State Public Defense offices.
The PRD member admitted that the matter of incarcerated self defense (personnel) needed to be reviewed.
"That's another chapter, that when the normalization stage is done, we will have to see what we can do with many [individuals] who are very probably innocent (yet) are in prison," he stated.
Let's hope Silvano Aureoles grows a pair and actually does something to release the autodefensas who, in his words, "are very probably innocent." Mireles still being imprisoned is the greatest untold story in Mexico. Where is Amnesty International? Where is the international outrage?