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During his daily press conference on the morning of Thursday, July 29, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) announced he would be releasing a significant portion of Mexico’s prisoner population out of cells and back into society based on specific guidelines.

Via a presidential decree, prisoners over the age of 65 with health issues and those over age 75 who were not been sentenced to a serious crime would make the cut for release. Likewise, any inmate who had been verifiably tortured under the code of the Istanbul Accord will find their freedom, alongside everyone who had been imprisoned for 10 years or more without receiving a sentence.

“About 43 percent of inmates are currently deprived of their liberty in preventive detention,” said Secretary of the Interior Olga Sánchez Cordero

Sánchez Cordero then clarified that the release would see the former inmates serving their sentences out in home detention, and would not be a shortened sentence or amnesty.

Since the announcement, critics have raised concerns about the danger of many of the prisoners to be potentially released back into the population, as many criminals known for their roles in the drug trafficking world have been arrested for nonviolent crimes like fraud and money laundering.

The new presidential decree is set to be signed next week.

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