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Three Mexican nationals saved from death sentence in Malaysia

Malaysia — Three Mexican nationals have had their death sentences commuted to 30 years in prison after being sentenced to hanging.

José Regino, Luis Alfonso and Simón González Villarreal, the three González Villareal brothers, were detained in Malaysia in 2008 on drug charges after being detained in a factory where drugs were processed.

They argued that they were cleaning staff and unaware that the factory was a drug lab. In March of 2008, the three brothers left their families in exchange for a job that offered to pay them $903 USD per month.

The Sultan of Johor, Ibrahim Iskandar, commuted the death penalty for the three Mexican nationals this week after working with the Foreign Ministry and its embassy in Malaysia. In 2015, the trio were sentenced to death by hanging, however now, they will serve a 30-year prison sentence.

The González Villareal brothers are from the state of Sinaloa. They were arrested in 2008 during a raid of a factory in the city of Johor Bahru on the border with Singapore. They, along with other factory workers, were accused of drug trafficking after authorities say they found 29 kilos of methamphetamine near their workplace.