Congress Mexico approves law that will release hundreds of inmates to prevent spread of coronavirus

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MEXICO CITY, Apr 20 (Reuters) – The Mexican Congress passed a law on Monday that will allow hundreds of prisoners to be released for non-violent or minor crimes in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the saturated prison system.

The so-called Amnesty Law will favor the release of prisoners prosecuted for crimes such as simple robbery, possession of small doses of drugs and women who were arrested for abortion, according to what was approved by the Senate on Monday.

Under the new legislation, indigenous people who did not receive a defense according to their language and people who were forced to collaborate with organized crime may also be released.

According to the senator from the ruling Morena party, Cristóbal Arias, who chairs the Governance Commission in the upper house, there would be more than 2,600 people who would potentially benefit from the new law.

Over the weekend, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) asked the authorities to take “emerging measures” to prevent transmission in prisons, as deficiencies in the health infrastructure of the prisons put the prison population at a higher rate. risk of contagion and spread.

Until January, 202,337 people were deprived of liberty in any of the 297 prisons in the country, according to figures from the Security Secretariat. Almost 40% of these prisons have overcrowding problems.

To date, Mexico has registered 8,772 confirmed cases and 712 deaths related to the virus, which in recent weeks has spread to more than 200 nations and threatens to trigger a deep global recession. (Report by Noé Torres, edited by Adriana Barrera)

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