Mexico's amnesty law could fail

In Mexico, it is common for police officers to detain and accuse people who had nothing to do with a crime

Mexico's amnesty law could fail
A lot of inmates have been wrongly imprisoned under false accusations - Photo: Julio César Aguilar/AFP
English 13/10/2019 10:11 Mexico City Actualizada 10:17
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Out of 198,000 inmates imprisoned in Mexican jails, only around 32,000 could benefit from a new law if Congress approves the Amnesty Law proposed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

The 32,000 inmates who could be freed correspond to the number of people imprisoned in federal prisons, while the rest, other 166,000 who represent 84% of the total, are imprisoned in prisons managed by local governments, therefore, they wouldn't benefit from the amnesty proposed by the President since it only applies to federal prisons.

Additionally, it should be considered that the number of inmates who could be included in the amnesty program is significantly lower because the pardon would only apply to petty crimes such as abortion, theft, and sedition, which are the crimes that saturate Mexican prisons but this isn't the case in federal prisons, which are reserved for serious crimes such as those linked to organized crime. Among prisons, there is a large number of innocent people who have been unjustly imprisoned for crimes they didn't commit or for crimes they were forced to commit, even against their will; nevertheless, the hope of obtaining amnesty and a pardon might vanish thanks to legal voids.

This highlights the need to find mechanisms in the states to help those who have been wrongly accused of serious crimes. No one is surprised to learn that in Mexico it is common for police officers to detain and accuse people who had little or nothing to do with a crime or people who were only passing by the crime scene and are later linked to crimes they didn't commit.

No matter how many times you analyze these cases, it is not fair for victims to be imprisoned in a structure that punished the innocents and doesn't deliver justice. Both lawmakers and senators have to analyze the reach this amnesty law could have in order to benefit those who were wrongly imprisoned.


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