Mexico says Texas execution of Mexican man would violate international accord

MEXICO CITY Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:43pm EST

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico on Sunday strongly objected to the scheduled execution in Texas on Wednesday of a Mexican convicted of killing a U.S. police officer, arguing that by executing him, the United States would be in "clear violation" of international treaties.

Edgar Tamayo was convicted of shooting dead a Houston police officer in 1994 when he was in the United States illegally. But Tamayo was not informed of his right, enshrined in an international treaty known as the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to diplomatic assistance.

In 2004, the United Nations' International Court of Justice ordered the United States to reconsider the convictions of 51 Mexicans, including Tamayo, who had been sent to death row without being informed of their consular rights.

So far, two of that group have been executed; Tamayo would be the third.

In a statement on Sunday objecting to the scheduled execution, Mexico's foreign ministry said, "If Edgar Tamayo's execution were to go ahead without his trial being reviewed and his sentence reconsidered ... it would be a clear violation of the United States' international obligations."

Last month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wrote a letter to Texas Governor Rick Perry urging him to reconsider Tamayo's execution because it could make it more difficult for the United States to help Americans in legal trouble abroad.

But so far there has been little sign that Texas is willing to budge, with the Lone Star State arguing that it is not bound by the International Court of Justice ruling.

Mexico's foreign ministry said it had taken various measures - legal, diplomatic and political - to try to stay the execution.

That included attempts through Texas courts and petitions from high-ranking Mexicans like Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade and Eduardo Medina Mora, Mexico's ambassador to Washington, the statement said.

"The Mexican government opposes the death penalty and is determined to use all available recourses to protect those nationals in danger of receiving such a sentence," it said.

(This story was refiled to fix typo in 7th paragraph)

(Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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Comments (4)
DURO wrote:
Is Mr. Edgar Tamayo, a person who entered the US without a visa and without any legal purpose still afforded the Consular protection of his country? My answer is NO, (but) If it is to afford Mr. Edgar Tamayo his consular protection, than we must argue that no descendant of Edgar Tamayo born on the US soil is US citizen. Once this is established, we can safely remove the US citizenship of all persons born in US from illegal entrants, since our government does not full jurisdiction over one or both parents, but Mexico have. A lawsuit can be filed by any US citizen against the US government in Federal courts to remove their citizenship. Is Mexico ready to go this far?

Jan 19, 2014 4:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Feebwillis wrote:
Just wait until the oil interests in Texas need a favorable ruling from the International Court of Justice. Since when can a State nullify a US treaty?

Jan 19, 2014 5:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse
What exactly does Texas Gov. Rick Perry not understand regarding the following International Law:
[quote] Ten years ago, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that the United States had violated the VCCR in the cases of 51 Mexican men sentenced to death in the US – including Edgar Tamayo. [unquote]

Edgar Tamayo was sentenced to death without having been informed about his right to seek consular assistance as required by Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), to which the US is a State Party.

Executing Edgar Tamayo would be a violation of international law as it constitutes a clear breach of the 2004 Avena Judgement by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – a treaty that the US became a signatory to more than 40 years ago. This is the same treaty that ordinary Americans citizens rely on for protection when they find themselves in trouble overseas. It is the same treaty that allows all Americans who are detained abroad to contact the US Consulate to help defend them and their rights.

A chilling reminder that Texas continues to be home to arrogance and bitter injustice. Sooner than later, this resregard for International Law will come back to bite Texas in the ass, in that other countries may decide to do the same with American nationals.

Jan 19, 2014 6:48pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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