Protesters reappeared this weekend outside the Mexican prison where Mel Gibson is set to shoot “How I Spent My Summer,” after some 300 inmates were transferred out to facilitate production.
Set to shoot by March, Gibson will topline the prison drama, based on a screenplay he penned.
Gerardo Duran, the director of the Ignacio Allende prison in the Gulf state of Veracruz, told the local press that around 1,200 inmates remained at the jail, though more may be moved if necessary.
In response to the protests, Gibson’s publicist Alan Nierob explained that the production simply requested the venue as a location and the actions being taken are those of the government’s alone.
“No one with production asked for this transfer,” he said. “What they do and how they do it is their business, it doesn’t involve my client at all.”
Prison overcrowding is a growing problem in Mexican prisons, where it is not uncommon to see five or more inmates sharing a cell.
The 50 or so protesters came out during the removal of the prisoners, which began late Friday and continued into Saturday. They will be sent to four other facilities.
This is a problem for the prisoners’ families, who are typically the only reliable sources of food and clothing for prisoners.
Around 300 demonstrators came out in late December to protest the move, citing hardship to the inmates and their families. Some of them were holding signs reading, “Mel Gibson, it’s your fault they are moving our family members.”
The filming, taking place in San Diego and Veracruz, tells the story of a career criminal who is thrown into a Mexican prison for trafficking drugs and meets a 9-year-old boy who helps him adjust to life there.