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Texas executes Mexican national despite international pressure

[JURIST] Texas officials on Wednesday executed Rubén Cárdenas Ramírez, a Mexican national who was convicted in 1998 for the kidnap, rape and murder of his 16-year-old cousin, despite international pressure.

The US Supreme Court [official website] had denied a writ of certiorari [text, PDF] as well as an appeal to stay [text, PDF] the execution on Wednesday.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto condemned the execution [Debate report, in Spanish] for violating a 2004 decision [text] by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] holding that the US violated Article 36 of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations [text, PDF]. The ICJ ruling required "review and reconsideration" of cases where individuals' cases were hurt by the failure of local authorities to notify them of their right[NYT report] under the Vienna Convention to contact their consulate.

Cárdenas Ramírez was questioned and subsequently provided a confession without knowledge of this right. Mexico alleges that they did not learn about the arrest for five months [Houston Chronicle report]. Texas refused to "review and reconsider" the case, leading both the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights [text] and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights [text, PDF] to condemn the execution.

However, Texas argues, based on the 2008 US Supreme Court case Medellin v. Texas [JURIST report], that because Congress has not ratified the ICJ ruling, the requirement to "review and reconsider" Cárdenas Ramírez's case was not binding.

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