Mexico’s Senate approves amnesty law for 1st time offenders

The Mexican Senate approved an amnesty for first-time, non-violent offenders Monday in order to reduce prison populations and lower the risk of coronavirus contagion.

The Senate estimated the bill could benefit about 2,600 inmates in the federal system.

Beneficiaries of the bill would include those convicted of less serious offenses like non-violent robbery, or small-scale drug possession if the culprit was poor, forced into the act or handicapped. Indigenous offenders would also be freed if they weren’t guaranteed a fully fair process.

The bill approved on a 68-14 vote also provides amnesty for those convicted of abortion, but specifically rules out release for those convicted of serious crimes like homicide, rape or kidnapping.

Some people convicted of sedition for political protests may be freed.

The bill now goes to the president to be signed into law.