As explained in an earlier post, after the Ostula leader Semeí Verdía was absolved by a judge of the charges of illegal carrying of weapons, he was re-imprisoned on charges of homicide and theft, with the backing of the current state government of Michoacán. Another judge has dismissed the homicide charges as unfounded, leaving only the charge of participation in the theft of barbed wire from a municipal storeroom outstanding.
The sindico of the Aquila municipality has now issued a document stating that the alleged theft never actually took place, so the lawyer of the indigenous community police and autodefensa leader now expects him to be released.
It turns out that the accusation of theft was in fact made by the wife of former mayor of Aquila, Juan Hernández Ramírez. Hernández himself is currently in gaol facing charges of involvement in the last attempt to assassinate Semeí Verdía and participation in the Knights Templar drug cartel and mafia, whose principal local leader has so far escaped justice.
A fact that raises even more questions about the role that the state government has been playing in recent events. The current commander of Ostula’s communal police, Germán Ramírez Sánchez, has already offered the indigenous community’s perspective on what has happened in the past and what is going on now in an extremely lucid statement that can be viewed on YouTube by clicking here. Further background on some of the people that he mentions in this statement can be found in my book The New War on the Poor.