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THE WORLD | IN BRIEF / MEXICO

Judge Frees 6 Convicted in '97 Acteal Massacre

November 23, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

A judge in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas has released six paramilitary members convicted of taking part in the 1997 massacre of 45 rebel sympathizers, officials said.

The prisoners were convicted of killing 45 Zapatista sympathizers on Dec. 22 while the victims prayed at a chapel in Acteal, a small village 460 miles southeast of Mexico City.

Last Friday, Judge Felipe Consuelo freed six of the 34 people convicted of participating in the massacre because he said witness testimony was inconsistent.

Chiapas Gov. Pablo Salazar condemned the judge's decision and said government prosecutors would appeal.

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