Defence lawyer: 15 prisoners convicted of Indian massacre released due to illegal evidence
By: The Associated press
TUXTLA GUTIERREZ, Mexico – A defence lawyer says a Mexican federal judge has ordered the release of 15 more people convicted in a 1997 massacre of Indians in the southern state of Chiapas. Sergio Nataren says the 15 were released Thursday after a federal judge found their convictions were based on illegally obtained evidence. The latest release brings to 60 the number of convicts who have been freed after federal judges found irregularities in their prosecution for the slaying of 45 people in the village of Acteal. Thirty-five remain in prison. The massacre on Dec. 22, 1997, was the worst single instance of violence during a conflict that started when the leftist Zapatista movement staged a brief armed uprising in early 1994 to demand more rights for Indians in Chiapas.