November 20, 2013
Community Defense Groups: We demand the heads of the 7 Templarios leaders in Michoacan: Says leader Dr.José Manuel Mireles in an interview with Carmen Aristegui, MVS News. In an interview with MVS News first issue, on Nov. 18, 2013, Dr. Mireles said that community defense groups continue to advance its goal and announced that so far there are community police in 45 regions of 19 municipalities in the Tierra Caliente area.
Among the Templars names Dr. Mireles mentioned are: Nazario “El Chayo ” Moreno, Servando Gomez “La Tuta, ” Enrique ” El Tio Nicho “Plancarte, Rigoberto,” El Tena“,” El Chicano ” and “El Toro. ” He noted that in the region that has given rise to some criminals as has “El Chayo “and Plancarte, and spoke about a video posted three months ago where “El Tîo Nicho” called out challenging, Hipolito Mora, community leader in La Ruana, to his death.
Dr.Mireles affirms that the government has started positive actions as total disarmament in Vista Hermosa and Briseñas, but you need to keep covering more in the territory of Michoacan because these people keep kidnapping, killing, and these areas they are contaminated by organized crime. “Many of our vehicles and also the Army’s are cloned and they use our emblems, so you have to more careful about that … we have armored vehicles that we have been seized from them ,” he said. José Manuel Mireles narrated that the last weekend they began with an operation in Tancítaro, after learning that the criminals had killed two young girls that they kidnapped, so self-defense groups in the region are concentrated in Buenavista and later took over city hall of Tancítaro.
“At 11:00 am, a farmer told us that we must be careful because they were preparing an ambush, so red alert was issued and that’s when one of our cars was attacked with a blast … I was in the van 4 truck back they wounded 2 companions who are already tending. When the fighting ended after 1 hour 45 minutes, they found two more bodies, and about 2 in the afternoon and they had found more bodies. We were told there were nine bodies of the Templar,” he said.
Last week he informed that five people had been kidnapped, including the son of a businessman from Nueva Italia and four of the doctor’s family members who were were dismembered and burned. “Then comes the kidnapping of these little girls, all of whom live here, are part of families, families with pure courage to face this … local media are saying it was a clash between police and criminals but the truth is that it was an attack against us (AUC),” he said. Dr. José Manuel Mireles said they have offered their own guides to the authorities, because they know where “El Chayo” and “La Tuta” are, and will be, however as of yet there have had no response. He charged that the authorities are aware of what is happening in the region from the moment the operatives leave from DF. He stressed that after the arrest of a sicario in a raid by the police, the sicario said, he himself orders the operations, and it is he who warns them that they are going after them. “We arrived in the municipalities in support but these communities are those that are putting their own in trenches… sometimes they insult the clean work that we are doing, we are not forming any cartel nor are we or funded by one. We are looking to help end state of violence, we want clean elections,” he said. He noted that there have been invitations to become part of them but they are not accepted because they charge favors because they are criminals.
We’ve called Dr. Jose Manuel Mireles, whom is part of those who have talked about what happened in the last few hours, so he can tell us what is happening in Michoacan. You spoke of nine alleged “Knights Templar”, can you tell us what happened?
José Manuel Mireles (JMM) leader self-defense: Yes. Look, we started an operation at 8:00 o’clock in the morning to Tancítaro, because at 7:00 o’clock we were warned that criminals had murdered two young girls who they had kidnapped a few days earlier, even though the avocado growers in the region had paid the ransom, I have understood that they had demanded 24 million pesos and the report we have is that they had paid it and still they executed the young girls, which has enraged much to all the self-defense groups of the entire region, we’re concentrated in Buenavista. 800 people of our colleagues decided to move over there.
We already had other companions who had already, previously entered Tancítaro at about 7:00 o’clock in the morning, declaring they took Tancítaro plaza and the City Hall, with only one shot by one of our companions and by accident he fired into his foot! It was the only accident or incident by a firearm in Tancítaro. We at, 11:00 am, 10:45, 11:00, we were entering the town of Tancítaro, a farmer told us “Be careful, because they are preparing an ambush after the gas station.” Through the radios that we all carry, I warned all my companions and issued a red alert, that there was an ambush waiting, which unfortunately those up head who were in armored cars, and did not carry the equipment, so they didn’t hear, but everyone else did, and 15 seconds after that we passed the gas station, I saw when of our armored cars were hit by the bombs and they jumped nearly a meter.
I had personnel with me from journalist Denise Maerker, I said,”If there are shots please get out of the truck and roll on the ground until they find a wall or a tree to take refuge”, and that was what we did. I was in the truck number four, the first three were the ones that were hit by the grenades and shrapnel. Then they said two companions who are still very seriously injured, but they are being well cared for in a private unit in our region, and when he finished the skirmish that lasted about an hour and seven minutes, one hour five minutes, we realized that in one of the trucks that had attacked us were two dead bodies. Later the companions from Pareo who organized self-defense too, they found two other bodies and at 12:00, 1:00 pm and they found the rest. In the afternoon, the ministry was already there around 7:00 , 8:00 pm, issuing acts, and all that, when we left already, because the town was organized in self-defense groups and there they remained safe as such, we were informed that in total there were nine Templars bodies.” CA: Tell me one thing, in this picture of things, Did authority intervene? Were they close? Did it hear about it later? What can you tell? Was it the Army, state police…..? JMM: The Army was there in Tancítaro before we arrive and didn’t even allow us to get to Tancítaro despite the plaza was already taken by our companions and also the people from the town I have understood this, because I was informed by priest himself, then they disarmed some 15, 16 companions, when I saw that they were disarming them all, laying weapons on the pavement that did not give me a good feeling and I ordered them all to back to their trucks, because we heard an officer, a colonel wanted to talk to us. Removing all weapons, and tossing them to the ground, didn’t feel right because, well, usually, no commander, general, or any colonel wants talk to more than eight or ten people, we were 800, something wasn’t right and I ordered the withdrawal of all units, to hide their weapon but to have them handy out the respect that we owe to Army. Hence the colonel who was attending at that area said that if we returned to Pareo, he was responsible for returning the weapons, and when we went back to Pareo, the people of Pareo joined us, about three thousand people in the area, and the army delivered our arms to us. The Army retired and we stayed to support the community, to build their trenches which, incidentally, it was themselves not us because we were in the plaza and there were small groups of people there saying, “Hey, help us, we want to put a trench in this side ” They made them, we told them nothing more than how to place the sacks themselves. They already had trucks, dump trucks full of gravel and sand, for building their own trenches.
In general this is the information, we see that in some ways the local media distorts the news, by saying, it was a standoff between soldiers and gunmen or was between community and military, which is a total mess, but we who live now, we were under the rain of bullets, bombs, we are the only ones who know the truth and disseminate it through your medium and thank you in advance for all the support you give us in order for the truth to be disseminated. CA: Thanks for the comment, but let me ask you some things. The raid-as it were-had to do, as you say, in response to a previous event that had to do with some girls, can you elaborate more on this situation? What happened and what instigated the raid? And also tell me about the establishment of a self-defense in Tancítaro?
JMM: Well, look, in the same week there had been ive people abducted in Los Reyes, four were federal employees IFE and one was the son of a businessman from Nueva Italia, we still do not know where these people are. Three weeks ago they kidnapped four of my relatives, one of them with special needs, and we still do not know, and they told us that they had-I to say this seriously, my family is listening, they have dismembered and burned them. Then there are situations that we no longer see, honestly, we do not see results from the municipal and state institutions, we see them as having no interest in resolving this, so we have decided to continue doing it on our own after having had two weeks of truce. CA: Doctor Mireles, sorry to come back to the information that you provides, are your four family members the ones who were also kidnapped and dismembered? JMM: Yes, they already told my family, my friend Atilano, my comadre, Pilar that her brothers and were already sacrificed, as usual, they grab innocent people, tying them and executing them. That is the situation and then comes what happened to theses girls, who, honestly we do not know them, but many families of the towns of Ttepacaltepec, Buenavista, Apatzingán, Los Reyes live in Tancítaro we are family, we are all family.
And it affects us very much to see how our people are sacrificed without anyone intervening, that’s what makes us angrier and then goes (inaudible) and from there it is from the anger we have I think the day when we do not have anger we aren’t going to have courage, but while this lasts, and with all due respect to the Federal Government, with respect to the Army, even with all due respect to the state that does not deserve it, we will move forward. CA: Doctor Mireles, Now tell me one thing ,now that you mention moving forward at this very moment in history of the morning ,how many communities, how many municipalities, how many places in Michoacan have the presence of “so called” self defense groups or community police groups? How many are there, Doctor?
JMM: Right now we are averaging 45 communities of which we are already about 19 municipalities including the one we took the day before yesterday, 19 municipalities only here in this area of La Tierra Caliente, on the top of the mountains, which is Aguillia, which is Coalcomán, Chinicuila here and there on the side of the mountainous area of the Plateau Purepecha are six municipalities that already have more than three years that they organized and structured themselves and started taking up arms. CA: Dr. Mireles, what type of collaboration (If I can call it that), is there or should there be between you, configured as self defense and the authorities. I’m talking about federal, state and municipal authorities. JMM: Well, look, for starters, the Federal Government has initiated some actions that are very positive for us, as was the complete takeover of the port of Lazaro Cardenas, as was the total disarmament in the municipalities of Vista Hermosa, Briseñas and Zamora. Also the big support that they are currently providing nowadays with their continuous patrolling and the daily arrests of criminals in the city of Apatzingán, but we need to continue to cover more territory, much faster in the state of Michoacán because if not, we will not finish. These guys are moving around from one region to another, and they are still executing people, they continue kidnapping, extorting and doing their stupid things and we need the government of the state to begin disarming all state troopers and placate them, because we are seeing that all municipalities are contaminated with organized crime. then yes we need the participation of the state in this regard. CA: What would have to happen for you, or to you to return the arms and even the vehicles that you have taken from criminals? What situation would have to be experienced for you to return to your own activities and lay down your arms? JMM: Just that they deliver to us the seven heads of the main leaders of Caballeros Templarios and we see it confirmed, through the DNA testing, it’s really them because they have the bad habit of resurrection. You see, here in Michoacán, and already two have resurrected, supposedly one had been executed by the feds, which was “El Chayo” and another allegedly had been executed by the military that it was “El Tio” Nicho Plancarte, then these are situations that we don’t believe. And yes we are ready, yes, all of us, who have arms are willing to give up all of our arms when this situation of total elimination of the top leaders of organized crime happens, we will withdraw to our normal activities, hey, we don’t have the need to carry weapons and many of the vehicles, but mine because those are mine-Iown-and many are the cars we took from them. Even in the shootout the day before yesterday, that is another situation. One of the trucks, one Lincoln 2013, had the logos of the community police, which is us, can you believe that? CA: Ah! JMM: Exactly and we have told the military men about the military vehicles being cloned. even in Aguillia, two trucks were stopped and surrendered. Right there in Apatzingán military vehicles are cloned, there are city patrol vehicles cloned, but the ones inside wearing the uniforms and carrying the guns are “The Templars” because remember that on October 26 the army disarmed the Apatzingán municipal police. So right now lots things are happening, the kind of things that we have to be very careful about. CA: I read, for example, this weekend, in the many stories that were written about what happened in Tancítaro that there were many armored vehicles used by you. Do you use armored cars taken from …? JMM: From themselves, homemade by themselves. I want, if I may, to honor, those who led this column, those who resisted the onslaught of war grenades, bombs and gunfire. In the first, armored vehicle in Tepalcatec, a pickup truck with a double line of the strongest metal, filled with sand, an idea that emerged among our poor community people, who saved the lives of all who were riding inside, the Commander Cuacua, my respects, also the Commander Molina, my respects, I got to see how the truck jumped at every bombing, that this man also saved our lives once in another ambush back around Aguillia, which by the way Miriam Moreno was with us, a companion also of Denise Maerker. They are people who, you know, take risks, who know what they are doing what I have previously said above, we have chosen our way of dying, since (inaudible) that they kidnap our people, execute them, dismember them without even looking up. Now, we decided that we will die fighting and that’s what we’re doing.
Fortunately, someone is with us, because we haven’t had heavy casualties. Yes we are very sorry for the casualties that we have had of our companions who were risking their lives, for this disgraceful disaster we have in the entire state of Michoacan, to come to an end. CA: Let me go back to a fundamental point of what you just said, when asked what would have to happen for you to finally not have to be armed and you very clearly said “that they turn in the seven heads of the leaders of organized crime in Michoacán along with the DNA testing tests so we know it is really them.” Who are the seven? JMM: Well the main one is one of the resurrected, which is “El Chayo Moreno”, another is “La Tuta”, Servando Gomez, another is Enrique Plancarte, another is Rigoberto, some names escape me because we only know their nicknames, the ones who most disgraced my community, one that was called “El Tena” and his two main henchmen was “El Chicano” and “El Toro” Then with the main heads delivered to us, we will know that nobody else can finance those idiots, who ambush us, they shoot bullets and then they run away, we do not get it, they are the ones who ambush us, and they are the ones that are falling like flies. We do not understand, we know they are there because we were attacked when were driving, you know what I mean? We only reply to the attacks. CA: The nine who died this weekend that you report was it as a result or response their attack? JMM: That is right, very close to the road, Listen, inside an avocado orchard, it wasn’t even 20 meters from where we were bombed, right at the curve, past the gas station entering Pareo, some others were further back and some others were up there on a little hill And then obviously we are 100 percent alert, these people have the custom to burning the first cars, so we don’t go forward and yes, indeed, we had spend time there moving the damaged thundered vehicles But also, I repeat I want to honor people who risk being at the front, that’s a very important thing, because all of the others just follow. In Apatzingán I’ve been in the front, and also I had to be at the entrance of La Guardia, I had been the leader into, “Agulilla” but because of the warning from that honorable peasant who warned us about the ambush, we sent the only three armored cars we have to the front. One of them, my friend Molina who has been under attack many times, this is not the first ambush that he suffered, his car has grenade pock mark scars everywhere, our companion, “El Comandante Cuacua” this was his first foray and he has already been buried, then our colleague Simon “El Americano”, the general coordinator Buenavista was also driving a armored which was also “welcomed.” So what we do is to respond to an attack, many times we have known that coming in and out of communities, “The Templars” are out there watching us because we can hear them on the radio, we hear that they say,” here this truck is passing by with two or three and they are going that way.” CA: Tell me, Dr. Mireles, Simon “El Americano”, who you just mentioned, is he American or so is it only nickname? JMM: So called that, because he lived a few years in Tijuana, hey, see, anyone who leaves his ranch, he is called a foreigner CA: But is he from Michoacan? JMM: That’s right and do not forget, Carmen, that 52 percent of the population of Michoacan has dual nationality, some by birth in the United States and other citizens by naturalization in the United States because it is a state that has had many longtime immigrants. CA: Let me close this conversation, Dr. Jose Manuel Mireles of General Coordination of Self-Defense of Michoacan. You said a moment ago, in addition to mentioning the seven heads you are requesting and demanding that you from the Mexican government to be arrested and delivered, let’s put it that way to justice, and you say you say: ” do not resuscitate or resurrect them” and you mentioned two to them ” El Chayo” and “El Tio Nicho” JMM: Right. CA: Where, forgive me for saying so, well, where did you come up with the idea that they have been resurrected JMM: Well, because we have seen the video, hey, at five months after supposedly, El Tio Plancarte, killed at a checkpoint when he didn’t want to give up his arms, he would not be disarmed, and it turns out that approximately three months after that he was resurrected and challenges Hipolito Mora to a duel to the death, even sends him a personal video. CA: Really is that true? JMM: Yes, we all saw him in this video, check it out. It’s out there, it s in the alternative media and you are going to see “El Tio Nicho Plancarte” challenge Hipolito Mora to death and also what “El Chayo” does because we know that allegedly the Feds killed him from helicopters in Apatzingán. He had nine funeral marches and masses in the city and is now resurrected with the name … now he’s called Ernesto Morelos Villa, for Ernesto Guevara Saldaña, “El Che”, and Morelos for José María Morelos y Villa for Francisco Villa. CA: Is that all he named himself? JMM: Yeah, just like that, yes. CA: What a name he chose. JMM: Yes, therefore we don’t want them to come back to life again, we want them and another thing, I will say, it s going to bother some people, but many times it has been reported to the relevant authorities where these people can be found at that moment but they are not lucky, they can not find them, or they don’t know how to look for them. Even we have offered our own guides for example, “La Tuta,” we know where he is going to sleep tomorrow, and we know where he is going to sleep the day after tomorrow and the same with “El Chayo”, we know where he is going too be today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, but unfortunately we haven’t had the immediate response we want to make this be over. CA: I remember, Dr. Mireles, what we read in the letter from the bishop of Apatzingán, to the Bishop Patino, where in few words or in other words he said the same things in terms of there not having been notable arrests, although there is a great federal and state presence in Michoacan, well, even knowing where those people are they are not being detained. JMM: Yes, indeed, we have already given some projects without knowing, but it has worked out for us in order to clean out our towns of bad people but we have presented some views to senior officials of the federal government pointing out places where they are going today, tomorrow and the day after, and pointing out how we can reach them, because these these men are more informed than we are and better informed than the federal government is, because since starting the operation the Mexico City, they already know, since also when a federal operation starts (inaudible)they already know CA: From Mexico City, Doctor? JMM: From Mexico City and they know it perfectly. CA: So that means once the operation arrives in Michoacan they already know JMM: They are already somewhere else or maybe even close, but they are wearing peasant clothes and tools like a machete and they are riding on top of a donkey, we know that, because there are the reports we have received lately of “Chayo” the way he escapes is that he never rides in a car CA: What you are trying to say, Dr. Mireles, of course, indeed is a very delicate, very serious,thing because I want to ask you if it is you just saying or if you know for a fact that they are being alerted from Mexico City. JMM: Yes, it is, because once I asked someone before we started the fight and I asked him, “How is it possible that there are so many operations and they never find them?” He says, “Mr. Doctor, what you do not know is that the same person who ordered the operations is the same person that advises us that they’re coming to get us and we immediately move “. CA: who said that, Doctor? JMM: One of the sicarios, one of the criminals that we had detained here on February 24 in Tepalcatepec. CA: Once held by you, Is that what he confessed? JMM: Yes, of course, when the Army gave ’em to the Federal Ministerio Police in Apatzingán they freed them for lack of evidence. CA: All together, doctor. JMM: Yes CA: Well, look, I think what you said is of enormous importance and gravity, which means, of course, everything you narrating and telling following these events this the weekend obviously has increased the presence of self defense groupo. This weekend’s events in Tancítaro, we know for granted that citizens formed their own an organization JMM: That’s right, in all the towns where we come, to support the cries for help that the relatives ask for “Come on in and help us, we can not stand”, we go there, we support and the communities themselves are organized, put their own selves, build their own trenches and we return to our own trenches . CA: Let me close with the following, some say that some good faith and some without good faith, are encouraging the creation and existence of self-defense groups to clean up the plaza from some criminals for other organized criminals to enter. What do you say about that, doctor? JMM: These are words that have “Chucho” Reyna has repeated since he was first secretary general of the government and then interim governor, he wants to insult our clean effort or hard clear work which the people are doing, taking up arms, we are not a cartel, nor are we displacing a cartel to give access to another, we are not forming a cartel and we will not be sponsored by one or another cartel. Let it be clear, there have been offers, invitations, there has been proposals, but our project is solely to clean the state of Michoacán from any kind of organized crime so that the Federal Government, the Senate of the Republic or whoever may be, to help restore the state of law, but on legitimate grounds of internal elections, not elections managed and controlled by the same mafia itself in politics or within organized crime. CA:Let’s make it clear, doctor, you say that you, that of course, there have been proposals, offers, I ask you, from whom and for what? JMM: The proposals we have come from neighbors who want to help, but do not want to accept from any cartel nor any politician, because we do not want to be asked later to repay the favor, you know what I mean? There have been offers, for example, cartels here,near the state of Jalisco and even in Sinaloa, and also in Sonora, they want to support us, but we know what they want. Michoacán already suffered one of its (inaudible) for supporting a cartel called “La Familia” when “Los Zetas” invaded us here in this region of Apatzingán, Tepalcatepec, Buenavista and all, at that moment “La Familia” came to offer support, La Familia got rid of los Zetas but what happened after that was “La Familia” cartel takes over the entire region and the entire state, and then they have internal problems of their own, and conflicts between them and La Familia” cartel become “Knights Templar” and the latter is taking our region as their main business. We, people from Michoacan, or other towns in Michoacan who have weapons, do not want to make the same mistake that was made ten years ago CA: Doctor José Manuel Mireles, I appreciate your taking this phone call and I ask that we stay in communication. Thanks for being here- until tomorrow. JMM: Thanks and really, thank you very much for helping to spread the truth. CA:Be well Doctor, we’ll be in touch JMM: Thank you. CA: Doctor José Manuel Mireles, one of the general coordinators of Michoacan self defense, in difficult times, no doubt, as of this weekend and the whole panorama of things that we have just heard which are not not a trivial matter. Aristeguinoticias