Mexican Leader Cancels Texas Visit to Protest Execution of Mexican National

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Tuesday, October 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
On August 14, 2002, Mexican President Viente Fox canceled a trip to Texas and a meeting with President George W. Bush in protest over the Texas State?s execution earlier in the day of Javier Suarez Medina, a Mexican national whose rights under the Vienna Convention of Consular Relations were violated. Mr. Medina was convicted for the 1988 killing of a police officer in Dallas. On August 13, the Texas parole board rejected appeals to stop the execution of Mr. Suarez. It voted 17 to 0 against commuting the sentence to life in prison. On August 12, President Fox spoke with Texas Governor Rick Perry by phone and urged him to halt the execution in order to give officials ?sufficient time? to review the case?s ?numerous violations.? The decision by Fox to cancel his visit to the U.S. illustrates a continuing trend of controversy between the U.S. and Mexico over international human rights, specially the death penalty, the lack of access by Mexican criminal defendants to consular help, and abuses suffered by Mexican aliens while crossing into the U.S. The U.S. has a different perspective, believing that it is rightly applying its laws and that Mexico is improperly asserting international human rights as a reason not to cooperate on international enforcement matters.