Mexico, under the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is set to release thousands of elderly, tortured, and unsentenced inmates from federal prisons.

The Mexican president said Thursday, July 29, that he would issue a decree that could release thousands of elderly inmates or those who have spent 10 years or more in prison and have not been convicted of any serious crimes.

KVOA reported that more than 12,000 inmates from federal prisons could be eligible for release. According to the Associated Press, around 7,200 suspects are in prison on federal charges but with no verdict.

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Mexico President to Sign a Decree that Would Release Inmates From Federal Prison

The announcement of the inmates' release came as Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wanted to address the slow, outdated, and abuse-ridden legal system in Mexico.

The Mexican president said the order would also apply to federal prisoners who have been tortured. He noted that these individuals would be released by September 15, DW reported.

"No one deserves to be tortured.. We cannot continue with these medieval practices, completely contrary to the most basic human rights," Lopez Obrador said.

Apart from the tortured inmates, the decree would also free federal prisoners aged 75 and older who have not committed serious crimes, along with non-violent inmates over 65 with chronic illnesses.

Federal prisoners who have not yet been sentenced for non-serious offenses and have been behind bars for more than 10 years will also be released. The government estimated that there are about 300 inmates who are over 65 years old in federal prisons.

"It is important to take into account that there are many detainees, inmates, who do not have a sentence, and that is not only federal jurisdiction, it is also common jurisdiction," Lopez Obrador noted.

Many of the provisions mentioned in the president's plan already exist in the present legal guidelines of Mexico but have not been applied. The order is expected to be signed by Lopez Obrador next week. 

Tortured Inmates in Mexico Federal Prisons

In the decree, tortured prisoners would be released no matter what crime they were accused of or how long they had been held. 

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador earlier promised to get rid of the torture of prisoners following harsh criticism from the United Nations and human rights groups.

Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International noted that beatings, psychological and sexual abuse, and other methods have reportedly been used on prisoners. This approached has allegedly been used by the government in its drug war.

Rights groups further noted that the torture in Mexican prisons was also being done to acquire confession from suspected criminals.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador prefers a policy known as "hugs, not gunshots" as part of his softer criminal justice and drug policy compared to his predecessors. The Mexican president earlier floated the idea of giving amnesty for drug traffickers.

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This article is owned by Latin Post

Written By: Joshua Summers

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