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Protests Break Out over Gibson's Mexican Movie

Dec 30, 2009 | 4:16am EST

Mel Gibson's new movie How I Spent My Summer Vacation is already causing controversy in Mexico -- relatives of inmates at a Veracruz jail have blasted plans to move prisoners to make way for the film shoot.

The actor-turned-director has set his sights on filming at the Ignacio Allende prison in the eastern coastal city.

Veracruz state governor Fidel Herrera Beltran announced earlier this month that prisoners would be moved out of the jail to allow the film crew to work there.

Authorities previously planned to transfer inmates to a new prison in the town next year -- but families fear their loved ones will be sent to facilities across the country if the jail is not built in time.

Hundreds of family members launched demonstrations outside the prison on Monday in a bid to stop the transfers until the new unit is ready. The 24-hour protest reportedly came to an end on Tuesday after the prison's director announced he had received no orders to transfer inmates and vowed families would be informed if any prisoners are to be moved.

Gibson previously filmed his 2006 epic Apocalypto in Veracruz and subsequently gave local authorities a $1 million donation to help build new homes for victims of 2005's Hurricane Stan.

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