Mexico says upcoming U.S. execution of national is ‘illegal’

Carlos Manuel Sada Solana, Mexico's Deputy Foreign Minister for North America, speaks at a news conference about Ruben Cardenas Ramirez, a Mexican sentenced to death in the state of Texas, U.S., in Mexico City
Carlos Manuel Sada Solana (C), Mexico's Deputy Foreign Minister for North America, speaks at a news conference about the case of Ruben Cardenas Ramirez, a Mexican sentenced to death in the state of Texas, U.S., next to Jacob Prado (R), General Director of Protection of Mexicans Abroad at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Alejandro Alday (L), Legal Consultant of the Mexican Foreign Ministry at the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (SRE) in Mexico City, Mexico, November 6, 2017. REUTERS/ Edgard Garrido

November 6, 2017

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Senior Mexican diplomats on Monday condemned the upcoming execution of a Mexican inmate on death row in Texas, calling his sentence “illegal” and vowing to exhaust all possible efforts to prevent him from being killed later this week.

In a news conference in Mexico City, Carlos Sada, Mexico’s deputy foreign minister for North America, told reporters that Texas prosecutors did not follow due process in the case of Ruben Cardenas, who was sentenced to death for raping and killing his 15-year-old cousin in 1997.

“From the start, there has been a failure, and from our perspective, this is an illegal act,” Sada said.

The planned execution comes as relations between Mexico and the United States are at a low, hurt by U.S. President Donald Trump’s vows to build a wall along the Mexican border, and his threats to end the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Cardenas, who is due to die on Wednesday, was not given the chance to speak with consular officials in contravention of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, Sada said.

He added Mexico would look to stay the execution by seeking to overturn how Cardenas’ confession was obtained, while also looking to exonerate him with up-to-date DNA testing.

There are currently two separate appeals under way and Mexico is willing to take Cardenas’ case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary, Sada added.

Mexico does not have the death penalty and opposes it, regularly clashing with the United States when Mexican nationals are set to be executed on U.S. soil. Sada said 54 Mexicans were currently facing U.S. death sentences.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled in 2004 that the United States had violated international law by failing to inform 51 Mexicans now on death row of their right to consular assistance, and said the cases should be reviewed.

Alejandro Alday, a legal advisor to the Mexican government, said Cardenas was one of the 51 covered by the ICJ ruling, and accused Texas of breaching the Vienna convention in failing to advise Cardenas of his right to consular assistance.

(Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Sandra Maler)

  • CCTexas

    First of all, Reuters the Buffoon, our relations with Mexico are in the Trash because of the actions of the Mexican Government in actively supporting and promoting its citizens to illegally enter the U.S., thus becoming criminals and NOT BECAUSE TRUMP AND I WANT TO BUILD A WALL.. Secondly, Mexico can go fly a kite. This murdering dog should have met his Maker many years ago. Having Mexicans claim the legal procedure was improper is ridiculous. Besides, Vienna can keep its convention. Kill the pig now, do not wait.

  • Jason Lamson

    Oh, I see: more “international laws” that the US never ratified.

  • Ipickedaside

    Uuumm, don’t come to my country illegally, if you do, don’t break ANY LAWS. Oh wait you already broke the law, when you slithered into my county, nevermind. Perhaps this will comfort you. …..how do your people say it?? Oh yeah VAYA CON DIOS.

  • constitutiononly

    Boo Hoo, Mexico! Your illegal alien citizen should have been shot in the head when he was caught. Mexican officials sure have some nerve bitching about a lack of due process, when it is not practiced in Mexico. I forgot! The cartels and other terrorists OWN you people.