Mireles talks to reporters this morning Mireles talks to reporters this morning. milenio

Conditional release for self-defense leader

José Manuel Mireles was arrested three years ago on weapons and drug charges

After spending almost three years behind bars, former Michoacán self-defense movement leader Juan Manuel Mireles Valverde may face weapons charges while on conditional release, a judge ruled yesterday.

A medical doctor, Mireles was leader of the Citizens’ Council of Self-Defense of Tepalcatepec when he was arrested on on June 27, 2014, in Lázaro Cárdenas with 83 members of his community police force. He was accused of carrying unauthorized weapons and drug trafficking.

The arrests were made during the time when Michoacán governor Fausto Vallejo Figueroa and security commissioner Alfredo Castillo Cervantes were urging civilian defense groups to lay down their weapons and join the federally-sanctioned rural police force, which Mireles opposed.

He had joined the self-defense movement in 2013 to participate in their fight against the Caballeros Templarios cartel in Michoacán.

After his incarceration Mireles filed for an injunction against the drug trafficking charges, which was granted.

Mireles walked out of the federal prison in Tepic, Nayarit, this morning, telling reporters that “the fight must go on.” He also said he was suffering from heart problems and diabetes.

To obtain his release Mireles was ordered to pay a 30,000-peso (close to US $1,600) bond.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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