04/10/12- The National Human Rights Commission (Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, CNDH) in Mexico recently called for the Mexican government to buckle down and take a stronger stance on the issue of Mexican nationals being sentenced to death abroad.
There are currently 58 Mexican nationals that find themselves condemned to death in U.S. prisons, the majority of which come from the states of Baja California, Chihuahua, Jalisco, and Michoacán. According to El Universal, the Mexican government brought 39 of these cases to the attention of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands. The effort, known as “Caso Avena,” has been presented to the international judicial body to consider procedural violations guaranteed by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations that may have occurred in their cases.
While the CNDH explains that 745 Mexican nationals sentenced to death in the United States were able to reverse their sentences in the past decade, they also site how brothers José Regino, Luis, and Simón González Villarreal run the risk of being sentenced to death by hanging if they are convicted in Malaysia, and thus highlighting the inconsistencies abroad.
CNDH describes the death penalty as the most serious punishment that exists, noting that by nature it is irreversible and therefore has no guarantee of justice. They also mention that they will continue to assure that Mexicans being sentenced abroad have consular and legal assistance, and when possible, analyze legal actions that would allow for death penalty sentences to be converted to prison sentences.