By THE PULSE NEWS MEXICO STAFF
Despite condemnation from Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), as well as the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Mexican Congress approved a bill on Tuesday, Feb. 19, that adds nine new charges to the list of crimes for which suspects must be held without the possibility of bail, including electoral fraud and fuel theft.
The controversial bill, which easily passed in President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement- (Morena) dominated House of Deputies, had already been approved in the Senate last December.
It also provides for persons charged with corruption or the misappropriation of government funding for political purposes to be remanded without bail while their cases wind their way through the tedious and long Mexican justice system, a process that can take years.
“This was an important step,” said Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who pushed for the bill to be passed, on Wednesday, Feb. 20, during his daily early morning press conference, which was held in the northern state of Nuevo León.
“It is a good thing that the list of serious crimes has been expanded.”
AMLO went on to say that “those who are corrupt will no longer have the right to bail.”
But human rights organizations both in and out of Mexico have warned that the bill threatens the assumption of innocence and allows for the potential exploitation of unfounded charges for political persecution.
Under the new ruling, judges will be required to order the detention without the possibility of bail of any person charged with the aforementioned crimes.
Also included in the expanded roster of crimes that mandate incarceration without bail are the sexual or physical abuse of minors, femicide, the robbery of cargo transport, the forceful disappearance of persons and the unlawful possession of firearms.
The list of crimes that merit remand without bail already included involvement in organized crime, violent homicide, rape, kidnapping, human trafficking and attacks against the nation’s security.