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214 Mexican prisoners moved for Mel Gibson film

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Mexican officials have transferred 214 detainees from a prison in the eastern state of Veracruz to make way for a Mel Gibson film, despite the protests of relatives.

Ignacio Allende prison chief Victor Gerardo Hernandez said Saturday that 1,100 detainees remained there, but did not rule out transferring more detainees to Villa Aldama penitentiary 50 kilometers (31 miles) away.

Saturday's operation lasted five hours. Military officers were deployed to keep relatives away from prisoners, who fought with police several days earlier after learning of the imminent transfer. Hundreds of family members protested the move.

In early December, Vera Cruz Governor Fidel Herrera Beltran announced the US-Australian director planned to film several scenes of his upcoming feature in the state, including at Ignacio Allende prison, a location he scouted in April.

Gibson, 53, previously directed the action-packed "Braveheart" and "The Passion of the Christ." He shot 2006's "Apocalypto" in eastern Mexico. The film was controversial in Mexico due to some bloody scenes and criticism it eclipsed the importance of the Maya civilization.

The actor-director has already visited the Allende prison, and he donated one million dollars toward hurricane relief in the Gulf of Mexico region in 2005.

Mexico's crowded prisons frequently face rioting.


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Tags: mel gibson
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