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 Friday, 10 January, 2003, 23:43 GMT
Mexico puts US on trial over executions
Electric chair at Terre Haute
Mexico wants executions of its nationals suspended

Mexico has taken a case against the United States to the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

Mexico claims that 54 of its nationals being held on death row in America have been denied access to consular officials.

Javier Suarez Medina
Mexico protested over the execution of Javier Suarez Medina
Mexico has asked the court to order the US not to execute any Mexican citizens before it issues a ruling in the case.

Mexico accuses the United States of violating the human rights of its nationals as US authorities did not inform them about their right to speak to consular officials when they were arrested.

Both Mexico and the US signed the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which guarantees this right.

German precedent

This case echoes a previous court ruling in June 2001, the case of the La Grand brothers, two German nationals who were executed in the US in 1999.

The court found that the US had denied the brothers their right to contact the German consulate.

But the court said it was satisfied with US guarantees that this would not happen again.

The court ordered the US not to execute Walter La Grand in 1999, while his case was being handled.

But he was put to death nevertheless.

See also:

14 Aug 02 | Americas
10 Jan 03 | Americas
24 Jun 02 | Americas
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16 Feb 01 | Correspondent
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