Mexican lawmakers approve amnesty for drugs, robbery

The lower house of Mexico’s Congress approved a controversial law Wednesday to grant amnesty for non-violent robbery, drug and other crimes, as long as those were first offenses.

The bill was approved in a 285-144 vote, but now goes to the Senate for final approval.

Amnesty would be available for drug possession in amounts up to double the de-criminalized limits that exist under current law.

People convicted of drug sale or possession who were forced into it by poverty, or pressure from a spouse or drug gang would also be eligible.

Amnesty would also be available for robbery without violence, sedition and abortion. In the case of abortion, doctors or midwives who participated would also receive amnesty.

Any member of an indigenous group who did not receive a fair trial, or was not given access to a translator, could also get amnesty.

In the case of sedition — more commonly known as inciting a rebellion — amnesty would only apply to those who did not cause serious injuries or use weapons, terrorist tactics, or engage in kidnapping.

Critics have said the law is vague and could potentially release dangerous criminals.

Supporters say the law explicitly excludes most serious or violent crimes like murder and kidnapping.

The bill was proposed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s Morena party.