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Nine months and still going: A day in the life of autodefensas

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November 25, 2013

Note: This is the translation of the audio from a video that appeared on Televisa’s Punto de Partida.  Thank you to the reader who brought this to my attention.  The mayor referenced is the same mayor that caused headlines recently when he stated the autodefenzas should stay of the government is not going to provide security.  This video is an excellent portrayal of a day in the life of autodefenzas beginning before day break they encountered an army blockade who once again demands their weapons.  The life and death of an autodefenzas. Chivis and Vato

Autodefensas stopped by the military who demanded their weapons

Nine Months and Moving Forward

(Screen) 9 months and moving forward.
(00:07) NarratorAt 6:00 a.m. on November 16, approximately 300 men traveling in 30 pickups left Tepalcatepec. They were headed, they said, to the town of Tancitaro to support a group of townspeople who had asked for their help. Also, they would tour all the Movement’s fortifications all the way to the municipality of Los Reyes.
(00:24) (Soldiers greet Dr. Mireles) (Soldier: How are you? Everything OK?)
Dr. Mireles We’re in a state of alert because yesterday they kidnapped five more people right here in Los Reyes.
(00:38) Dr. Mireles…And we know there will be an uprising, and we’re going to support them.
(00:40) (Narrator) In Buenavista, Tomatlán, the caravan halted and self-defense forces from that town, from La Ruana and Coalcomán joined them.
(01:05) (Man loading pistol magazines) We have to be ready, for anything…trying to back up a friend and … problem with a rifle that won’t fire, that’s why we are supplied with new ammunition for each operation… These (magazines) hold 9 (rounds) each…they’re .38 Super, 70 series….(Shows semi-auto pistol)… you load the bullets here… (other speaker attaching loaded drum magazine to rifle) There it is…fully loaded…
(01:40) (Narrator) At almost 8:3 a.m., about 800 men in 80 pickups resumed the march.
(01:45) (Dr. Mireles) Let’s go, gentlemen, the “hard” pickups in front, please, catch up with the Commander.. Let’s go…
(Radio:to the rear?)
(Mireles)…all the way to the rear…
(02:05) (Dr. Mireles, speaking to guy standing next to his truck:) We’re going all the way to El Limon. That guy said we have to get to El Limon and drop off some people there, and go on through there, all the way to Tancitaro. (Man beside Mireles truck: “Then, all the way to Limon?”)
(Mireles) Yes.
(02:15) (Radio #1) All of you with scope-sighted rifles, get your scope-sighted rifles out because those are the ones that will get us out of trouble, if there’s any trouble.
(02:22) (Radio #2)If you’re able to… Nobody fires, nobody shoots unless you have a target. We have to take care of our ammunition.
(Radio #3)That’s the way it has to be. Nobody shoots unless there’s a target.
(02:35) (Radio #1)Good luck and may God bless us and protect us, and may God forgive us for what we’re going to do.
(02:39) (Radio #4)It was a pleasure to support you with everything, and here we are, moving forward. Good luck to everybody, and I hope nothing happens to us, old man…
(02:40) Dr. MirelesRoger that, old man. It was an honor for this humble servant to have participated with all of you in this movement. Remember, if we fall, don’t allow the Movement to come to an end. A warm hug to all of you and may God bless and protect all of you.
(03:00) (Radio #1)All of you, comunitarios, don’t be afraid. Take heart and let’s go forward.
(Radio #3)And if something does happen to us, it was a pleasure being with you, and we are all grateful to all of you…
(03:08) (Radio #4)None of that talk, we’re all coming back, nothing will happen, let’s move forward with everything (we have).
(03:16) Female radio speaker: The Lady of Guadalupe and St. Jude Thaddeus will protect all of us.
()3:17) (Radio #3) Thanks Dona Mari…
(03:19) (Radio #4) No going backwards…
(03:19) Dr. Mireles (Passing under the Limon arch) …There were women and children, and those they executed were left hanging there… Below photos of the hangings)
Below are the four in life
Killed by CT: Sisters Fanny and Jazmine Guerra, 19 y/o Jazmine was a university student.  Fanny was married to Javier Pulido, also hanged, along with  Didier Sierra a secondary school teacher.  The men were horribly tortured before hanging, they were all hanged alive.  Fanny and Javier had a 3 mo old baby.  Their crime? Helping autodefensas.
(03:30) (A local driver stops to talk to Dr. Mireles) Hello. I’m glad you’re here.
(03:35) Dr. MirelesI there anything moving?
Driver: They’re up ahead, at the gas station … I’m glad you’re going there
Dr. Mireles That’s where they are? Thanks.
(03:42) NarratorAfter the warning, at 9:00 a.m., they continued on their way.
(03:47) Radio voiceBe careful, there at the gss station there’s a pickup…
(03:55) Dr. MirelesHeads up, comrades They say the bad guys are at the gas station, where we’re going to enter the town, so you’ll be on the lookout. A local resident just warned us. Be careful.
(04:05) NarratorAfter traveling 5 kilometers, the warning given by the Pareo resident is realized.
(04:11) (Shooting starts)
(05:50) (Narrator)for 15 minutes, the self-defense forces repel the attack. An hour later, they resume their travel.
( 06:05) Dr. MirelesLet’s go forward, my friends, let’s go.
(06:06) NarratorBy 10:00 a.m., the Los Reyes municipality was no longer the objective. At that time, the county seat of Tancitaro was occupied by the residents with the help of members of the self-defense forces who had infiltrated into the town the night before.
(06:20) Dr. MirelesThings got hot in town, we have to go help them.
(06:25) NarratorSlowly they made their way through the town of Pareo, witnessed by some of the town’s 650 inhabitants.
(06:37) Dr. Mireles(to the town’s people) Don’t back down! (Voice: OK, old man!) Grab your weapons and join the self-defense forces. (To a woman holding a broom:) Trade your broom for an armored vehicle and come on!
(06:55) Narrator Two kilometers outside the town, on the highway that goes to the Tancitaro county seat, the Army was already waiting for them.
(The soldiers and comunitarios meet)
(07:15) Comunitariothe problem is that they’re taking our weapons. Without weapons, it’s as if they’re sending us to slaughter, because without our weapons, they’ll be here in no time and kill us all.
(07:20) Army officerWe cannot return your weapons to you. If you’re going to go through here with weapons, we cannot allow that.
(Chaotic scene, soldiers and comunitarios all yelling, shouting about weapons.)
Comunitario voice: “Don’t attack the military personnel, don’t attack them! “) Comunitarios begin sitting down on the highway: “We’re going to sit down right here and stay here, let the soldiers kill us, let them kill us, it’s better for them to do it…”
Another Comunitario voice: “Take the weapons from the Templarios!”
(08:00) NarratorAfter a discussion that lasts an hour, the self-defense forces agree to return to the center of Pareo.
(08:10) Army officerI’ll return your weapons in Buenavista, like we agreed, like I promised. I cannot permit the law to be violated. That’s my position. We’re not moving from here, and you’re not going to Tancitaro or anywhere else, with the weapons that I’ve taken … from you.
(08:22) NarratorIn the end, their weapons are returned. Several days after this incident, in Tancitaro, the situation is not peaceful. The Municipal President (mayor) returned last Tuesday and declared his support for the self-defense forces.
(08:38)Voice of Municipal President Salvador Torres It is the people, the population here in the municipality that has risen up with the help of other municipalities that have formed their own self-defense forces. And when people meet me on the street, they say, “We support you, Mr. President, because you are one of us, you have stayed here with us and have not left us to go somewhere else.”
(09:01) NarratorBut the confrontations and the tension continue. From the day they entered Tancitaro, the self-defense forces have withstood four days of attacks, resulting with four deaths in their ranks. The war that Michoacán is living through continues to leave many families in mourning, like that of Mr. Leonardo Miranda.
(09:20) Mr. Miranda You want to see my son? (Leads them back to house where coffin is placed)
He came back from the United States (Female voice: He’s the oldest son), “because”, he said, “I don’t want to work anymore.” He sold his house, the business that he owned over there… (Female voice: He was already living there.) … so he could set himself up in Los Reyes… he was in the business of…
(Mother brings out memorial with picture) …He’s the one they killed (pointing to the memorial).
Mr. Miranda I told him, “let me go, I’m old,” … He said, “No, Dad, not you, I…”
(Mr. Miranda continues) What I’m going to do is sell everything I own, all my cattle, and buy weapons. I’m going to arm everybody in this town, and get everybody to join… because they wear their pants like I do.
And I told them, “This war is going all the way to the finish. They already killed two (of us), what’s one more?”

About Doc

Spreading the word about the dangers of methamphetamine.

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