Amnesty Law Takes Effect This Thursday After Publication In The Official Gazette

The Amnesty Law approved last Monday by the Mexican Senate to pardon prisoners for minor crimes will enter into force on Thursday after its publication in the Official Gazette of the Federation was completed on Wednesday, authorities reported.

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The Senate approved on Monday an amnesty law presented by the Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador with the objective of releasing some 6,000 people convicted or in preventive detention for minor crimes such as abortion, minor robberies or drug possession.

Amnesty, one of the great promises of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during his electoral campaign, will benefit federal prisoners for crimes such as abortion and also medical personnel or family members who participated in the termination of the pregnancy with the mother’s consent.

Likewise, prisoners for drug trafficking under poverty, a permanent disability or who have been forced by organized crime groups and people who, without sale purposes, have had twice the permitted amount of narcotics.

Indigenous people who did not have interpreters or lawyers who knew their language and culture during a judicial process may also benefit from the Amnesty Law, which will enter into force the day after its publication, the text stated in the Official Gazette.

The Law indicates that those prosecuted or convicted for the crime of simple robbery may receive amnesty if it were without violence and free those who committed sedition to alter the institutional life of Mexico for political reasons, provided they did not commit terrorism.

The document indicates that the Executive Power must issue within 60 business days an agreement to create the Commission that will determine the origin of the benefit and submit its qualification to a federal judge to order his release or ask the Prosecutor’s Office to dismiss the criminal action.

Amnesty International (AI) considered this law as a “publicity and symbolic act” and said it believed it was insufficient to “depressurize” the country’s prisons in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is an advertising and symbolic act but with very precarious and short-range effects in a context of a pandemic,” said Tania Reneaum, executive director of Amnesty International Mexico, in an interview with Efe.

In Mexico, there are 19 high security federal prisons with about 17,000 inmates and 309 state prisons with some 176,000 incarcerated.

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