|THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO STRONGLY OPPOSES THE EXECUTION IN TEXAS OF MEXICAN CITIZEN EDGAR TAMAYO|
Press Release 18
January 19, 2014
Regarding the case of Mexican citizen Edgar Tamayo Arias, who is imprisoned and sentenced to death in Texas (United States), the Government of Mexico reiterates its strong opposition to his execution, scheduled for January 22, 2014.
In 2004, in its decision known as the Avena Judgment, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that the United States is obligated to review and reconsider the sentences of 51 Mexicans—including Edgar Tamayo—who were sentenced to death without having been notified of their right to receive assistance and protection from Mexican consular officials as established by Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
Should Edgar Tamayo be executed without a review of the criminal proceedings and a reconsideration of his sentence in accordance with the ICJ ruling, this would be the third time a Mexican included in the Avena Judgment has been executed, a clear violation by the United States of its international obligations under the Vienna Convention, whose observance is key to guaranteeing the rights of all individuals to due process, including United States citizens when they are traveling or living abroad.
Mexico appreciates the efforts of the U.S. government to ensure that the state of Texas complies with the Avena Judgment, as well as the repeated recognition of its international obligations over the past few years and its endeavors, with some federal legislators, to seek passage of a bill that ensures that all states comply with this international obligation; unfortunately this legislation has not been adopted.
In coordination with Mr. Tamayo’s lawyers, the Foreign Ministry has made use of all available political, legal and administrative means to prevent the execution. One of the most recent legal actions was to file an injunction based on the conclusions of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which since January 18, 2012 has granted precautionary measures ordering a stay of execution. In addition, on January 14, 2014, a federal lawsuit was filed in Austin, Texas, requesting the Governor and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to refrain from proceeding with the execution until an appropriate and transparent procedure is established.
National political measures have included, among others, letters from Foreign Secretary José Antonio Meade; Mexico’s ambassador in the United States, Eduardo Medina Mora; National Human Rights Commission President Raul Plascencia; Morelos Governor Graco Ramírez; and several federal legislators to Texas Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles requesting a stay of execution.
At the international level, the ICJ; the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Amnesty International; the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe; the International Commission against the Death Penalty; the National Latino Evangelical Coalition; the ambassadors of the European Union, the United Kingdom, El Salvador, Honduras, and Uruguay in the U.S.; the American Bar Association; the American Friends Service Committee, and the U.S. Departments of State and Justice also sent letters appealing to the Texas authorities to stay Mr. Tamayo’s execution. In addition, on January 15, the Mexican ambassador to the Organization of American States opened the debate on abolishing the death penalty in the Americas, denouncing the failure of the United States to comply with the ICJ ruling.
The Foreign Ministry’s Directorate General for the Protection of Mexicans Abroad and the Consulate General of Mexico in Houston will continue to assist Mr. Tamayo’s family. The family has received help with obtaining travel documents to visit Mr. Tamayo in Texas and financial assistance for their transportation, food and lodging while there and they have also been accompanied on their visits to see him in prison. In addition, the Tamayo family also has the support of the government of the state of Morelos.
The Government of Mexico opposes the death penalty and is determined to use the resources necessary to protect those citizens in danger of being sentenced to death. In 2000, the Mexican Capital Legal Assistance Program (MCLAP) was created in the United States. To date, it has avoided or reversed the death penalty in 868 cases.
SRE – Ministry of Foreign Affairs , Plaza Juárez #20, Col. Centro, CP 06010, Cuauhtémoc, Phone: (55) 3686 - 5100
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