A court in El Salvador released two suspected people traffickers who abandoned 14 Salvadorans in Mexico who were among the 72 migrants massacred at a ranch in Tamaulipas state in 2010, judicial officials said.

Carlos Ernesto Teos Parada and Erick Francis Escobar Ramirez, who had been arrested last year, were "acquitted during a public hearing due to lack of evidence against them," a court spokesman told Efe.

The hearing took place last Friday at a special court in San Salvador, the court spokesman said.

An appeal is planned in the case, the prosecutor in charge of the unit that handles people trafficking cases, Smirna Salazar, told reporters.

Escobar Ramirez was in charge of transporting the 14 migrants who died in Tamaulipas and took his orders from Teos Parada, the suspected leader of the smuggling ring, prosecutors allege.

Four other Salvadorans were arrested in the case, but charges were later dropped following completion of the investigation.

Mexican marines found the bodies of the 58 men and 14 women on Aug. 24, 2010, after a shootout with gunmen that left a marine and three criminals dead.

The massacre victims came from Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Brazil, but the majority were Hondurans.

Two migrants - one from Ecuador and another from Honduras - survived the massacre.

An estimated 300,000 Central Americans and 400,000 Mexicans undertake the dangerours journey across Mexico each year on their way to the United States.

Los Zetas, considered Mexico's most violent drug cartel, is suspected of murdering the migrants. EFE