Page last updated at 09:01 GMT, Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Anger in Mexico at jail move for Mel Gibson film shoot


Relatives say it will be difficult to visit inmates if the transfer goes ahead

Hundreds of people have demonstrated outside a Mexican jail against plans to move inmates to make way for a film shoot with actor-director Mel Gibson.

One relative held up a sign outside the Ignacio Allende prison in the Gulf coast city of Veracruz saying "No transfers to make a movie".

The Veracruz state governor said prisoners would be transferred from January 2010 to make way for filming.

Their families say the move would make visits difficult and expensive.

All-night protest

The protest began when relatives said they saw soldiers taking photographs and videos of the prison.

This led them to believe the transfers would begin before the end of the month, preventing them from visiting over the New Year.

Prison director Gerardo Duran said reports that transfers were to begin imminently were unfounded rumours.

But he confirmed that part of the jail would be cleared to allow filming to begin.

One protester told TV Azteca: "We have been here all night, supporting our relatives. While we are here we won't let anyone take them away."

Another banner read: "Mel Gibson, it is your fault that they are going to be transferred."

Relatives said they ended the protest after getting assurances from the prison director that they would be informed when any of the inmates were about to be moved.

The Hollywood actor and director filmed his 2006 Mayan-language film Apocalypto in Veracruz.

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