San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

One mom's Mother's Day card: Get Out of Jail Free

President Oscar Arias announced the pardon of mother Miriam Umaña in honor of the Mother´s Day holiday. Umaña had been serving an eight-year sentence since March 2007 for funneling drugs into prison, which she claimed she did to feed her children.

“We did an analysis of her life circumstances,” said Justice Ministry press officer Emilia Segura. “Considering her situation, it made sense for us to free her.” Segura declined to give the gender or ages of Umaña´s children.

The pardon is the fifth of Arias´ term. Last year, the president pardoned two women in a similar gesture on the holiday.

A man and a woman serving sentences for drug dealing and robbery, respectively, were also released this June. A lawyer with the National Criminology Institute, the body that normally reviews and advises the president and his Cabinet on pardons, said the institute did not recommend any clemency applications be approved. However, the Justice Ministry cited the fact that the woman had a 10-month old baby in need of care in a statement regarding the pardons.

“It is a great desire of mine that the mothers here can hopefully spend Mother´s Day with their most beloved,” Arias said in a statement to the press.

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