The turn of the year brought an unexpected public communication from the prominent and once defiant leader of the self-defense groups in Michoacán: José Manuel Mireles issued an apology to the government and his family for the disrespect he showed with his words and actions.
The seven-minute audio, reportedly recorded by his relatives during a phone call, was made public by Mireles’ sister, Dr. Virginia Mireles, in a Facebook post Friday.
“I want to apologize, through this message, to the Mexican government and its official and unofficial institutions, and its nation-wide structures, for disrespecting them with words or actions, for offending them with my omissions and civil disobedience.”
Mireles also apologized for abusing “the liberal way of thinking and for altering the social and political order of Michoacán and México.”
The self-defense group leader, a doctor more often seen armed with a gun than a stethoscope, is being held in a Hermosillo, Sonora, penitentiary, where he confessed that his decision to apologize stemmed from a desire to “be in peace with God, the government, [his] family, and the self-defense movement.”
“I humbly plead, from the bottom of my heart, for forgiveness for all the damage I may have caused. I beg my children for forgiveness, for abandoning them in pursuit of a solution to a problem that is the sole responsibility of the structured and armed government agencies.”
“I ask for my venerable father’s forgiveness for leaving him alone at 83 years of age; forgive me, my father, for doing it during your last year alive, for going to fight for a peaceful and dignified life.”
“Forgive me, my father, for disobeying you when [the people] asked us for help and to take arms and you gave sound reasons [against it]. I’ve already lost my wife, the cattle; I don’t want to lose my children. Please forgive me for disobeying you and ending up alone.”
In the recording, Mireles also asks that the government release all the civilians arrested for confronting organized crime.
He also mentions the need of building a new Mexico, but without firearms.
Mireles is a medical doctor and leader of a paramilitary group that formed in 2013 to fight the Caballeros Templarios cartel. On June 27, 2014 he was arrested in Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán, for violating weapons laws. He was transported to a Sonora federal penitentiary two days after.
Reports of his imminent liberation surfaced six months ago, after the Attorney General withdrew all charges against him, but to this date Mireles remains behind bars.
Source: Sin Embargo (sp)