Humberto Leal Garcia
July 6, 2011 by USA Post
Humberto Leal Garcia, Mexico said Tuesday he believes the planned execution in Texas of a Mexican citizen as a violation of international law, just days before he was to be sentenced to death. Humberto Leal Garcia, 38, is scheduled to die in Texas on Thursday, but argues that Mexico was not given proper consular access, a violation of the Vienna Convention. Leal was convicted of raping and murdering a 16-year-old in 1994, and was sentenced four years later.
Given that there are 51 Mexicans in U.S. prisons against a 2004 International Court of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the disagreement was not about the death penalty, that Mexico has not.
“Rather, it is a right that every person has under the Vienna Convention to have the support of their country of origin if they face criminal proceedings in a foreign country,” said a statement from the Mexican Foreign Ministry.
“Mexico will continue to take all possible measures” to advance the case Leal, the statement added.
The main U.S. government lawyer has asked the Supreme Court to save the life of Leal said that his execution would cause “irreparable harm” to U.S. interests.
“This case involves the interests of U.S. foreign policy the first order,” wrote U.S. Attorney General, Donald Verrilli in amicus curiae to the Supreme Court on Friday.
“The petitioner’s impending execution would place the United States in irreparable violation of their obligation under international law”, wrote Verrilli.
Leal said he has offered to review his claim that his case was “prejudiced by the failure of Texas officials to provide consular notification and assistance under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.”
The execution “could have serious implications for U.S. foreign relations, police cooperation and the other with Mexico, and the ability of U.S. citizens traveling abroad to have the benefits of consular assistance in case of arrest,” Verrilli said.
The Human Rights Commission has also joined the calls of Texas calls to abandon its plan to put to death Leal.
Leal was sentenced to death last year by a jury unanimously declared that it was responsible for the rape and murder of a teenager in San Antonio.
But the Mexican team defense argued that the girl was under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and died accidentally after falling on a rock and being raped at a party when Leal tried to help.
Amnesty International and several former U.S. diplomats and military commanders have also requested the suspension of execution.
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