Mexico judge frees 2 women held on weapons charges who witnessed army killing of 22

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A Mexican federal judge has dismissed criminal charges against two women who witnessed the June 30 army killing of 22 suspected drug gang members.

The judge in Mexico state ordered their immediate release Monday after federal prosecutors failed to bring charges. The women had been held for weapons possession for more than five months in a prison in western Nayarit state.

The outgoing president of the National Commission on Human Rights said last month that they were innocent and should be released. The commission said they were tortured and sexually threatened into backing the army's version that the 22 were killed in a shootout. The women and a third witness say most of the suspects had surrendered when they were shot by soldiers.