Bolivia Fights Prison Overcrowding, Pardons 1,800 Prisoners

Source:  TeleSUR
December 25 2016

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Bolivian President Evo Morales. | Photo: Reuters

It is the fourth time President Morales has approved pardons since 2012.

Bolivian President Evo Morales pardoned around 1,800 prisoners Saturday, including pregnant women, handicapped people, inmates with minor sentences and those in custody awaiting trial.

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“The present decree’s aim is to give amnesty and total or partial pardons to people who have been deprived of their liberty,” he told a news conference in the central department of Cochabamba.

It is the fourth time Morales has approved pardons, a measure meant to address the issue of prison overcrowding in the country — there are about 15,000 prisoners in Bolivia, of whom less than a third have been sentenced, according to the official estimate.

Morales said that those pardoned included inmates with sentences of less than five years, one-time offenders, prisoners under the age of 28, single mothers with incarcerated children, prisoners with terminal illnesses as well as people with disabilities.

The decree will not be applied to prisoners convicted of homicide charges, terrorism, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, contraband, corruption, human trafficking, and assault on state officials.

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