Saturday, December 9, 2023

Court dismisses case against self-defense force founder Mireles

A federal court yesterday dismissed the case against Michoacán self-defense force founder José Manuel Mireles, who was arrested and imprisoned in 2014 for possession of unauthorized weapons.

Mireles was released in May last year following the introduction of the new criminal justice system because it doesn’t classify his crime as serious but yesterday’s ruling marks a definitive end to the proceedings against him, meaning that his freedom is absolute.

Federal authorities arrested Mireles, a medical doctor, in June 2014 on charges of crimes against public health and possession of restricted weapons and he spent almost three years in jails in Sonora and Nayarit.

The latest ruling is the second legal victory for Mireles since he was released after a judge ruled in November last year that he was not guilty of inciting violence.

The federal Attorney General’s office (PGR) accused Mireles of the crime because on July 11, 2017, via a post on his Twitter account, he called on members of self-defense groups in Michoacán to take up arms and defend the municipality of Tepalcatepec against an army deployment.

The PGR said that Mireles’ actions violated his bail conditions, which stipulated that he could not have any contact with self-defense group members or reoffend in any way.

It considered his conduct as grounds for him to be returned to prison.

Although the judge said that Mireles’ actions were regrettable, she charged that he was not guilty of inciting violence because he had not specified what kind of weapons should be used by the recipients of his message.

Mireles took up arms and encouraged others to do so in 2013 in an effort to bring safety and security to his home state of Michoacán, which had been victimized by several criminal organizations, the most notorious being the Knights Templar Cartel, or Caballeros Templarios.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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