Skip to main content

Bolivia pardons thousands to ease prison overcrowding

Bolivian President Evo Morales declared an amnesty for 1,800 prison inmates, including pregnant women, handicapped people, those with minor sentences and people awaiting trial.

Morales pardoned nearly 2000 prisoner with sentences of less than five years, first-time offenders, prisoners under the age of 28, single mothers with incarcerated children, prisoners with terminal illnesses and people with disabilities.

The presidential decree will not affect those sentenced for grave crimes, which include homicide charges, terrorism, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, contraband, corruption, human trafficking, and assault on state officials.

"The present decree's aim is to give amnesty and total or partial pardons to people who have been deprived of their liberty," Morales told reporters at a press conference in the city of Cochabamba. This is the fourth time Morales approves statewide pardons.

The decree is perceived as a measure to fight the overcrowding of prisons: according to some estimations, almost 15,000 of nation's 10.6 million people are in prison, with less than one third of them have already faced trial. This figure represents 0.14% of nation's population; by comparison, in the US, 0.68% of the population were in prison as of 2013, making it the world's second largest per capita imprisonment ratio.

The state's largest prison, San Pedro, is notorious for its inner society formed by prisoners who have no guards inside, impose their own laws, live with their families and welcome tourists, who bring them the money. The government promised to close San Pedro to stop "cocaine trafficking and other abuses" in 2013, but as of 2016, the prison is still there.

Another prison, Palmasola Penitentiary in the city of Santa Cruz, was built for 800 people but holds 4,800 inmates. On August 23, 2013, a violent fight broke out, with inmates cutting each other with knives and machetes and finally burning each other using fire extinguishers filled with gas. The riot ended with a massive fire. Thirty-one people died in the melee, including a one-year-old child, and 37 were injured. Over the next few days, four more people died from their burns, bringing the total number of fatalities to 35.

"The government isn't interested in people who go to prison, neither is most of society," Human Rights Ombudsman Hernán Cabrera said in 2015, when Pope Francis visited Palmasola Penitentiary during his visit to Bolivia. "We see prison as a dump. It's the final dump, and we send people there to rot. We don't give them a second chance."

Source:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hyper-educated poor: one of the last 'achievements' of collapsing capitalism

globinfo freexchange
Truthdig's Robert Scheer spoke with Alissa Quart about the "hyper-educated poor" phenomenon on the context of her new book.
An interesting part of the story is the bizarre psychology of 'self-blaming', identified in most of these highly educated people who are increasingly struggling to find a job proportional to their skills and knowledge.
Quart explains:
You have $1.5 trillion student debt. You have, an income inequality thrumming under all this. Since 1997 the top one percent, its income has grown 20 times faster than the other 90 percent. It’s so high now, and the gap is so great. And you have this whole world of counselors and coaches and certificate programs that, I think of them as like vultures on the carcass of the middle class. Also, when you’re talking about race, the whites’ median wealth is 68 times the median wealth of African Americans.
So, in the middle class, it starts to mirror that too; I talked to an African American woman who …

Jeremy Corbyn: 'We are in touch with Bernie Sanders and his campaign'

globinfo freexchange
Jeremy Corbyn and Yanis Varoufakis had an interesting conversation in August 20, at the Edinburgh Book Festival. Varoufakis challenged Corbyn to lead an international progressive movement that will end the brutal policies of the dominant neoliberalism.
Interesting parts of the dialogue:
JC: We saw the way in which the European Central Bank treated yourselves and also the austerity that was imposed on Ireland on Portugal and Spain.
YV: It's not just a state. They committed a crime against the Irish people. The head of the Central Bank of Europe put a gun on the Irish Prime Minister's head and demanded that overnight the losses of private investors, mostly from Germany, should be transferred on to the books of the Irish state and the Irish Prime Minister's account. Now, that's, you know, robbery, just daylight robbery. That's what they did.
JC: I actually challenged the whole Maastricht idea, which established the European Central Bank, because it wa…

How normal human behavior became a false mental disorder epidemic

globinfo freexchange
In the early nineties, an epidemic of mental disorder was sweeping America and Britain. It had been uncovered by a new system for identifying disorders. Psychiatry had been attacked for relying on the personal and fallible judgement of psychiatrists.
But instead, a new objective method based on checklists had been invented. These listed only the objective symptoms, and deliberately did not enquire into why the individuals felt an anxiety. In the late 80s, nationwide surveys had revealed an incredible picture: more than 50% of Americans suffered from mental disorders.
But at the very same, the drug companies had announced that they had created a new type of drug, called an SSRI, which they claimed, targeted the circuits inside the brain that were causing these malfunctions. The SSRIs were marketed under names like "Prozac". What they did was alter the amounts of serotonin that flowed across the circuit connections within the brain, and they readjusted the …

Western nations were never set up as democracies - and it's going to get even worse

globinfo freexchange
As Yanis Varoufakis said in this recent interview:
Europe and the United States were never set up as democracies. Read the Federalist Papers. It was all an attempt to make sure that the riffraff do not control governments. We hark back to the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta was not a democratic instrument, it was a charter of barons. It was all about their right to have slaves and not to be taxed by the king.
Aristotle defined, I think, democracy very well even though he was anti-democratic. He said it's a system of governance where the many — and therefore the poor, who are always in the majority — control government.
It is impossible for our sophisticated societies to become sustainable without democracy. Democracy is not a luxury.
If you go to Europe today, what unites them [people] is a sense of hopelessness. A sense that their democracies have been usurped, that their democratic rights mean absolutely nothing, that there is a decision making process, which combi…

WikiLeaks paper reveals US officials intervened to cancel New Zealand's Labour Party fundraising event for Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11

The WIKILEAKS Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD)holds the world's largest searchable collection of United States confidential, or formerly confidential, diplomatic communications. As of April 8, 2013 it holds 2 million records comprising approximately 1 billion words. The collection covers US involvements in, and diplomatic or intelligence reporting on, every country on earth. It is the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published. The PlusD collection, built and curated by WikiLeaks, is updated from a variety of sources, including leaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and documents released by the US State Department systematic declassification review.
globinfo freexchange
A cable from July 30, 2004, reveals that the US officials put high pressure on the then Government of New Zealand to cancel a fundraising event for Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 9/11*, under the umbrella of the Labour Party. Although the ev…

WikiLeaks paper reveals key player in the first Argentinian collapse expressed to US officials his desire to overthrow Kirchner and bring back the IMF

The WIKILEAKS Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD)holds the world's largest searchable collection of United States confidential, or formerly confidential, diplomatic communications. As of April 8, 2013 it holds 2 million records comprising approximately 1 billion words. The collection covers US involvements in, and diplomatic or intelligence reporting on, every country on earth. It is the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published. The PlusD collection, built and curated by WikiLeaks, is updated from a variety of sources, including leaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and documents released by the US State Department systematic declassification review.
globinfo freexchange
A cable from February 2009, reveals that Domingo Cavallo*, a key player in the 2001 Argentinian collapse, was expressing to the US side his desire to see the IMF return to Argentina. He was also expressing his desire to see the Kirchner administration &…

The Podesta emails - top US plutocracy group attempted to approach Hillary Clinton under newly elected chairman Jeff Bezos

WikiLeaks series on deals involving Hillary Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta. Mr Podesta is a long-term associate of the Clintons and was President Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff from 1998 until 2001. Mr Podesta also owns the Podesta Group with his brother Tony, a major lobbying firm and is the Chair of the Center for American Progress (CAP), a Washington DC-based think tank.
globinfo freexchange
An email by a Business Council* representative to John Podesta was expressing the desire of the group to 'approach' Hillary Clinton.
The email was sent nearly two years before the 2016 presidential election at the time where Jeff Bezos was the newly elected president of the group. Also, according to the email, the group consisted of more than 120 "of the biggest CEO's in the US.", meaning, the elite of the American plutocracy.
According to the email, the group was interested for a speech by Hillary Clinton in their meeting, but also, for some informal contacts of he…

Tulsi Gabbard: the very same terrorists responsible for 9/11 attacks are the US ground force in Syria

globinfo freexchange
Nearly two years ago, Tulsi Gabbard introduced a bill to stop the US from arming terrorists in Syria. Two years later, the US proxies are losing the war, yet the Empire refuses to accept the defeat. Gabbard spoke with Jimmy Dore and gave, one more time, the real picture. Not only the terrorists in Syria are essentially the US ground force, but also, the Saudis are paying vast amounts of money to the US to promote their agenda in the Middle East.
Key points:
Not only are [Saudis] paying for these wars and using our sons and daughters lives to carry out their bidding, but they're also paying a lot of these think tanks in Washington. A ton of money to issue opinions, and ideas, and plans, and proposals that jive with their agenda.
Specifically in Syria, now, since 2011, both overtly and covertly, the United States has been providing arms, intelligence and equipment to fighters who are allied with, fighting alongside, working with Al-Qaeda in this regime change war.
S…

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - neoliberal establishment 0-3 ... so far

globinfo freexchange
More than a month ago, we identified an immediate mobilization of the establishment machine to push progressives into the establishment lines after the 'shocking' victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Under the fierce pressure of the corporate media, Cortez was essentially forced to declare loyalty to Nancy Pelosi. That was a first, significant victory of the establishment against Cortez and the progressive movement.
After that, we saw an unexplained and bizarre contribution of both Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez to the establishment pro-McCain 'litanies'. In this totally unnecessary self-recruitment for the McCain's legacy whitewash operation, Cortez retreated unconditionally and the establishment marked a second victory against her.
Now, the establishment 'scored' one more time, as Cortez was forced to endorse establishment's agent, Andrew Cuomo.


We mentioned already that corporate media will focus mainly on pushing progressives to b…

Here is why Brexit happened ... and why this is only a start

failed evolution
The European Parliament voted on Wednesday to sanction Hungary for neglecting norms on democracy, civil rights and corruption in a first bid to launch the punitive process of the EU treaty’s Article 7.
Poland said it will oppose any sanctions imposed by the EU on fellow member Hungary, accused of floating EU rules on democracy. “Every country has its sovereign right to make internal reforms it deems appropriate,” Poland’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement late on Wednesday. “Actions aimed against member states serve only deepening divides in the EU, increasing citizens’ current lack of confidence to European institutions.

We are talking about the Union that faithfully followed the US empire in supporting the neo-nazis in Ukraine.
This is the Union that contributed to Gaddafi's ugly ending and the subsequent chaos in Libya.
This is the Union that remains completely silent in front of the Yemen humanitarian disaster, caused by the US-Saudi evil alliance.
This is t…