Michoacán self-defense group leader José Mireles will remain in jail following a court decision yesterday.
A judge rejected a request to release Mireles, who has been in jail since June 2014 after he was arrested for being in possession of unauthorized weapons.
The release request was filed by Mireles’ lawyer, Ignacio Mendoza, who declared that the decision to deny the release was based on political and not legal considerations. Mendoza will now appeal the judge’s ruling.
Interviewed by Milenio TV, Mendoza stated there must be political reasons behind the judge’s decision as it had already been demonstrated that his client and the other members of the self-defense group arrested with him had all the necessary permits to carry the weapons.
Evidence had been presented showing that Mireles’ life was in danger and that he had to be escorted by armed guards, said his lawyer.
Mendoza said the government even registered the weapons carried by the self-defense groups, “more than 7,000 firearms,” including five or six belonging to his client.
“There was no need to keep a record of those firearms, but the government did it anyway, giving the doctor [Mireles] and the rest of the self-defense group members the idea, the conviction, that their actions were justified; the government even gave its recognition to the self-defense groups.”
Last week, Mireles offered an apology for his actions as self-defense group leader.
With regard to other members of self-defense groups who remain in jail, Michoacán Governor Silvano Aureoles said their cases will be reviewed, while clarifying that those with proven crimes shall face punishment for them.
Aureoles also commended the self-defense groups for confronting criminal groups and helping in the clean-up of the state.
Source: Milenio (sp)