06/25/11— On Friday, the human rights organization Amnesty International initiated a world-wide campaign to ask Texas authorities to suspend the execution of a Mexican man named Humberto Leal García, who was condemned for the violation and assassination of a minor. His execution is scheduled for July 7. Amnesty International claims that Leal García was denied his consular rights and if the execution proceeds, it would “violate international law and a binding order from the International Court of Justice (ICJ).”
García was sentenced to death in 1995 for the murder of 16-year old Adria Sauceda, who was killed on May 24, 1994 in San Antonio, Texas. García was 21 at the time of his arrest, but is now 38 years old. During his 17 years in prison, he was never informed of his right to find and utilize consular assistance, which is guaranteed under article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR). The denial of this right led to him being represented by an appointed lawyer instead of one of his choosing. Amnesty International noted that the eventual appointed lawyer’s “quality of representation has been called into serious question.” The Mexican government has responded by saying that if given the opportunity, they would have assisted in the defense investigation by providing the necessary funds and providing “competent attorneys.”
Amnesty International is now asking all human rights activists to write letters to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles as well as Texas Governor Rick Perry, asking to stop García’s execution. The International Court of Justice has ruled that the United States has violated article 36 of the VCCR in the case of 51 Mexican men, which includes García’s case.