EFEMexico City

Mexico's Supreme Court acquitted police officers charged in connection with a raid nearly eight years ago on a capital disco that left 12 people dead.

Police went to the News Devine club, located in a poor neighborhood, on June 20, 2008, to investigate complaints about drug dealing and underage drinking.

Officers, who arrived during an afternoon end-of-the-school-year party for teenagers, found no drugs there, but they decided to detain the patrons and called for buses to take them to a station.

Cops blocked the main exit and 12 people died, nine of them teenagers, in the crush as the panicked patrons tried to get out.

A subsequent report by the Mexico City human rights commission found that some of the youths were beaten and tortured by police during the operation, while U.N. experts said the deaths were the result of "lack of adequate control during the police operation."

The Supreme Court concluded that blame for the tragic incident could not be laid at the feet of the police officers and they should be acquitted of the crimes of murder and doing injury.

The judges said that the deaths, and the injuries suffered by at least seven other youths, occurred because many patrons began to jam into a small tunnel near the main door, where they remained trapped for approximately 10 minutes.

Other factors cited by the judges were the closing of the door through which the young people had begun exiting at the start of the raid, the pressure by police officers to get the youths to leave the site, as well as the decision to cut the lights and air conditioning.

The high court concluded that the actions of the police were not what resulted in the deaths and determined that the operation was conducted in accord with proper procedures.