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Mexico: Senate Approves Penalty of Up to 60 Years of Imprisonment for Terrorists

(Feb. 18, 2014) The full Federal Senate of Mexico overwhelmingly approved draft legislation submitted by President Enrique Peña Nieto to increase penalties to up to 60 years in prison for anyone who commits the offense of terrorism in the country. The draft law provides that the Office of the Government Attorney (Ministerio Público) may order the provisional and immediate freezing of assets (inmovilización) of an individual when it receives reports or resolutions from the competent authorities or from international organizations in which Mexico is a member to the effect that the person is involved in terrorist activities. (Rivelino Rueda, Senado Endurece Penas Contra Actos Terroristas [Senate Hardens Punishment Against Terrorist Acts], EL FINANCIERO (Feb. 11, 2014).)

The draft legislation also specifies that asset freezing will be carried out when the assets are related to criminal offenses that entail the forfeiture of property (delitos material de extinctión de dominio) of groups or individuals linked to terrorism. (Id.)

The draft legislation was endorsed by the parliamentary groups of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI), the National Action Party (Partido Acción Nacional, PAN), and the Ecological Green Party of Mexico (Partido Verde Ecologista de Mexico (PVEM). There were 83 votes in favor of the legislation and 20 against; the no votes were from the Party of the Democratic Revolution (Partido de la Revolución Democrática, PRD) and the Labor Party (Partido del Trabajo, PT). (Id.) The draft law was sent to the President of the Republic for promulgation and official publication in the federal official gazette, the Diario Oficial de la Federación. (Id.)