MEXICO CITY – Mexico condemns “in the most energetic terms” the execution of a Mexican national at a prison in Huntsville, Texas, the country’s foreign ministry said.
The death by lethal injunction of convicted murderer Humberto Leal Garcia was a “clear disobedience” of the 2004 order from the International Court of Justice that the United States review the death sentences of 51 Mexicans then awaiting execution in Texas because they had been denied their right to consular assistance at the time of arrest, the ministry said in a statement.
Leal was put to death Thursday evening after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant a stay and Texas Gov. Rick Perry declined to use his power to delay the execution for 30 days.
The Mexican government, the Obama administration and dozens of former U.S. officials, diplomats and military officers all urged Perry to suspend the execution pending a vote in Congress on a bill to comply with the 2004 ICJ decision.
In that March 31, 2004, ruling, the ICJ said Texas had violated the rights of Leal and other Mexican nationals by failing to inform them of their right to consular assistance under the Vienna Convention, to which both the United States and Mexico are party.
Mexico’s foreign ministry deplored Perry’s decision not to delay the execution and said the Texas governor refused on Thursday even to accept a call from the Mexican ambassador in Washington, Arturo Sarukhan.
A formal protest over “this violation of international law” has been conveyed to the U.S. State Department, the ministry said.
At the same time, the ministry noted the efforts of President Barack Obama’s administration to lobby Texas authorities and the White House’s submission of a friend of the court brief in support of Leal’s appeal to the Supreme Court for a stay of execution.
Leal’s defense attorneys called for the execution to be delayed to allow time for debate on a bill known as the Consular Notification Compliance Act – introduced June 24 by Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat.
The defense team said the legislation, which is backed by the Obama administration, would enable foreign nationals convicted and sentenced to death to have their cases reviewed in federal court to determine whether denial of consular access affected the outcome of their trials.
Leal, 38, was sentenced to death for the 1994 kidnapping, rape and murder of 16-year-old Adria Sauceda. EFE