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Thursday, 15 August, 2002, 03:05 GMT 04:05 UK
Mexico's Fox cancels Texas trip
Execution chamber
The case drew widespread appeals for clemency
Mexican President Vicente Fox has cancelled a forthcoming trip to Texas and a meeting with US President George W Bush in protest at the state's execution of a Mexican national.

"This decision is an unequivocal sign of our rejection of the execution," a spokesman for Mr Fox said.

Javier Suarez Medina
Suarez was 19 when he killed the undercover police officer
Javier Suarez Medina, 33, died by lethal injection on Wednesday, after spending 13 years on death row for the murder of a Dallas police officer.

Mr Fox had made a personal appeal for his life to be spared, as did several other leaders.

He had been due to visit four Texas cities and Mr Bush's ranch from 26-28 August.

Suarez was convicted in 1989 for the killing of a police officer who was working undercover in Dallas as a drug trafficker.

Suarez, who was 19 at the time of the crime, admitted to the murder - but said he did not know the victim was a police officer.

Intervention

The Mexican authorities had argued Suarez's rights were violated because police failed to tell him he was entitled to legal assistance from the Mexican consulate.


It would be inappropriate, in these lamentable circumstances, to go ahead with the visit

Mexican statement

"The Mexican Government was prevented from providing priority assistance that might have influenced the outcome of his trial," President Fox said in a letter to Texas Governor Rick Perry on Monday.

On Wednesday Mr Fox spoke by telephone with President Bush, in a last-ditch attempt to secure a stay of execution.

Suarez was born in Mexico, but has lived in Texas since the age of three. Mexico said that under the Vienna Convention, the US authorities were required to put him in contact with Mexican officials.

Dallas police have said they did not know he was Mexican.

Finding religion

Mexico and 13 Latin American and European nations supported an unsuccessful appeal to the US Supreme Court.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson also sent a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell calling for clemency.

She said there were "serious concerns that the trial proceedings in the case had not complied with international human rights standards."

Suarez became religious in prison, and recently told reporters he preferred to die than continue to live in the intense isolation of death row.

See also:

24 Jun 02 | Americas
15 Aug 01 | Americas
16 Apr 02 | Americas
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