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Second Mexican vigilante freed after deadly clash

A Mexican vigilante leader was released from prison on Tuesday after being cleared of charges over a deadly gunfight, a day after his rival in the shootout was freed.



Mexico City: A Mexican vigilante leader was released from prison on Tuesday after being cleared of charges over a deadly gunfight, a day after his rival in the shootout was freed.

Luis Antonio Torres, alias "El Americano," planned to return to the small town of La Ruana, in the restive western state of Michoacan, where the December gun battle took place, his lawyer said.

His nemesis, lime grower Hipolito Mora, was released late Monday, returned to La Ruana and announced he planned to seek a congressional seat in June 7 legislative elections.

Michoacan supreme court judge Victor Barragan ruled that both men, as well as 26 Mora followers and nine Torres loyalists, should be freed because both sides had legitimate claims of self-defense.

Eleven people died in the shootout, including Mora`s son.

Torres "very much regrets" the death of Mora`s son, his lawyer Oscar Salazar told Milenio television.

But Mora said he could not forgive Torres.

"The dispute is personal between him and me," Mora told reporters.

Mora said he would meet with the leftist Citizen Movement party to discuss his plans to run for a seat in the lower-chamber of Congress.

"Wherever I go, people ask me to enter politics," Mora told local radio.

Mora is one of the original founders of the vigilante movement of farmers who rose up in 2013 to fight off the Knights Templar drug cartel, which had terrorized the state through murder, kidnappings and extortion.

The government deputized the vigilantes last year but plans to disband it after the movement was hit by infighting.

On February 27, authorities arrested Knights Templar leader Servando Gomez, dealing a major blow to the cartel.

From Zee News

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