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The Winner of 2013: Dr. Mireles of the Michoacán Self-Defense Groups

While many are busy dismissing the contributions of the EZLN, Michoacán’s self-defense patrols were defending towns once overrun by cartels and corrupt cops.

Dr. José Manuel Mireles soon emerged as a leader and articulate voice for the right to self-defense. And who does he credit? He credits the people of Cherán for providing him with the example to stand up to the cartels and lead an organized defense against them. And, of course, they credit the EZLN for providing the model for autonomous rule and armed self-defense.

This interview with Dr. Mireles gives us an inside view of his organization, the causes which lead to the forming of armed citizen patrols, and the challenges that he’s faced dealing with government officials and the media.

Dr. Mireles, you and your organization deserve recognition this year for having the courage to defend your families and communities.