José Manuel Mireles Valverde
By H. Nelson Goodson
January 14, 2014
Michoacan - On Tuesday, Dr. José Manuel Mireles Valverde, the leader of the Michoacan community security and defense paramilitary group denied in a YouTube video that was made public around 2:00 a.m. that he ordered his armed groups to give up their arms to the Mexican military as has been announced in a Televisa news broadcast by El Noticiero with Joaquín López Dóriga. Valverde says, the Televisa news cast was manipulated and made to look like he had ordered a disarmament decree.
Valverde explained, that he has no authority to order his people and groups to disarm themselves without a joint council argeement by all the groups involved. He said, that he won't disarm himself until all the druglords and leaders of criminal groups operating in Michoacan are crushed and law is reestablished in the state.
The community defense groups had taken over in multiple municipalities and the Mexican military was sent to restore order after the federal government had ignored requests for about 12 years. Michoacan state officials had previously asked for more federal troops to restore order after various drug cartels had taken over most of the state. Criminal groups even had taken over police departments, had their own people elected to political positions in order to control a majority of cities and towns in Michoacan.
Now, the community defense groups in Michoacan are under scrutiny because of their well finance operations that includes weapons exclusively used by the military, vehicles and small aircrafts used to patrol the areas they have taken over from criminal groups.
The Mexican government officials suspect that the groups are being financed by rival cartels as previously discovered in other parts of the state where armed civil groups have taken over.
Yesterday, the Mexican military got into a gun battle with a community security group while trying to disarm them in Antúnez in the municipality of Parácuaro and shot 11 people, including four people and a young girl were reported killed. Two of the victims were identified as Rodrigo Benítez Pérez, 25, and Marío Pérez, 50, according to news reports in the area.