Dr. Mireles is the leader of Mexico’s Michoacan autodefensa – a citizen militia that’s taken up arms against the drug cartels and their government accomplices terrorizing the local population. In June, as part of the government crackdown on the militias, Mexican federales arrested and imprisoned Dr. Mireles on weapons charges. (Mexico severely limits its citizens’ right to keep and bear arms.) Various human rights groups are monitoring his treatment, including the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), Amnesty International and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. But not the U.S. media. Dr. Mireles’ lawyer recorded the video message above in which he admits “we armed ourselves with justice.” And guns. Transcript after the jump . . .
“Dear Friends: Good evening.”
“This is the second message to the Nation by Dr. Mireles through the voice of his lawyer, Talia Vazquez Alatorre”
00:29 Second message from prison, August 1, 2014:
Brothers and sisters in Mexico: Where are we today? How many prisons have been built to keep us captive, with our eyes blindfolded and our ears covered?
Where have we been all this time, brothers and sisters? We all know the answer. It is an answer that, if you stop to think about it, brings back memories for all of us that, frankly, are not pleasant, but are deep.
00:58 Have we not, all of us, been in the prison of fear, of humiliation and repression? Surely, many of us remember it; we have lived it and are still living it. It is the prison of rage that can only be shown by tightening our fists. It is the prison of helplessness, a natural hunger for justice. All of us, deep within ourselves, want that: justice. Isn’t that true?
01:22 Where have we all been, brothers and sisters, for our government to deny us this justice? Our government officials, the rulers of our country, of our nation, deny us justice and send us to a prison of closed mouths. Haven’t we all been in the prison of hunger, of the hand that is raised, asking for a coin? Of the sincere hand that gives that coin? The one who asks and the one who gives in response are, in the final analysis, both sides of the same coin that is given because of poverty. (continues next page)
01:55 Where have we been, that our sons and daughters suffer hunger? Our country does not eat; it agonizes. It is faint from the lack of food, of medicine, of clothing, of homes, while it swims in an ocean of induced ignorance.
02:11 Where have we been that we are tortured by social inequality? Brothers and sisters, what have we been doing so that a group of traitors speak the word “democracy” while wielding the club of a dictatorship?
02:27 Where is our Republic? Where is our citizenship? Where have they taken our political rights? What have we done for them to see us as a population of idiots? Our rulers live in an Eden of power while they deprive us of what is ours. Our beloved Nation is depending on all of us, not on those who imprison us in the prison of dictatorship and simulation.
02:55 Where do our votes go, with nobody to represent us or to listen to us? Where did our federation go? Didn’t it cost blood to draft our country’s federation pact? Isn’t that why we have a national Congress, a Federal government in addition to the governments of the sovereign states?
03:08 Who is this Castillo, who dares to trample on the dignity and sovereignty of Michoacan? Who does he think he is, to tear apart the federal pact, which was forged with blood and struggle? Our State is based on the Constitution, the Magna Carta that consecrates a democratic republic with an active citizenship and a federation that represents a union of sovereign states.
03:45 On a different matter, brothers and sisters, where did our hopes end up, with somebody who thinks he can seize what belongs to us and our children, to our indigenous brothers and sisters? What have we been doing, where have we been, for them to think that we cannot defend ourselves? They appear confident, but perhaps they are afraid.
04:08 Where have we been, brothers and sisters, that an inhuman criminal organization is able to take our towns and hopes hostage? Where are those Mexicans who do love Mexico and who deserve what every human being deserves? Where are the people of Mexico, to stop these infamous persons who have betrayed us and who have joined with the organizations that are killing us? Why don’t they protect us, those who are supposed to protect us? What have we, the people of Mexico, been doing while they steal our brother, rape our daughter, kidnap our parents, make our grandchildren disappear?
04:50 Our Mexico, despite some valuable efforts, is breaking apart. The traitors are more and more cynical and arrogant. But the real question is, where are we today? There is no reason why we are not where we are supposed to be, out of the prison of helplessness and impunity, outside of hunger, poverty and ignorance, away from the dictatorship, from the widespread violence.
05:25 In Michoacan, we armed ourselves with courage because we realized that there were more than enough fearless Mexicans to take back what is ours. By the mere fact that we came into this world, we are entitled to freedom and dignity. To take back what is ours just from being born in Mexico, all we need to do is overcome fear. Let’s take back our lands, our hills and our valleys, our democracy, our Constitution, our Federation, the significance of Citizenship and Nation.
05:50 In Michoacan, we armed ourselves with justice and they, with their antagonism, are battling against us. This has become a struggle of the just against the unjust. And if there’s anything that gives me hope in prison, it is that we are on the right side and that justice has always prevailed. We have as examples the stories of brave Mexican men and women who, with justice as a weapon and with dignity as their objective, were able to give the Nation moments of pride. Those were days when they could call themselves proud because there were no tyrants who could step on their necks.
06:30 And I’m not saying that they were able to move Mexico into a states of dreams and perfection. All I’m saying is that it’s time for us, today’s Mexican men and women, to win for ourselves our moment of dignity, for us to forge the next link in the chain of triumphs, of fairness, so we can make Mexico into the place we deserve. It’s time for us to use the weapons of loyalty and brotherhood against the people’s and the Nation’s traitors.
07:00 That, against the lords of shame, we use the weapon of dignity. And against the unjust, we use our love of justice. It is time to see our nation be reborn.
Jose Manuel Mireles Valverde: