Lorenzo Sanchez, Dominga Gonzalez and Marco Antonio Perez from Tenango del Valle were freed Sunday night after spending 11 years in jail for the murder of the Spanish businessman, Alejandro Issak Basso, in April 2003. The group was arrested in 2006 and convicted years later with a sentence of 50 years in prison.
The lawyers of Sanchez, Gonzalez and Perez appealed the original court’s ruling citing that the trial had violated due process.
The three defendants also had the support of Mexico’s Congress and members of the United Nations who confirmed that there was no evidence indicating that the Indigenous people committed the crime.
The formerly convicted people were leaders in the Tlanixco Water Committee working to prevent entrepreneurs, such as Basso, in a nearby city from taking river water in concessions for their flower cultivation businesses, according to local Mexican media.
Relatives and friends of Sanchez, Gonzalez and Perez celebrated outside of the prison where they had been held since their convictions, shouting, “Today we take three, tomorrow the other three!” referring to Teofilo Perez Gonzalez, Pedro Sanchez Berriozabal and Romulo Arias Mireles, imprisoned for the same crime in 2003, but who are set to be released on Feb. 24.