execution Harris County Mexican National Vienna Convention on Consular Relations

Texas Scheduled to Execute Mexican National Edgar Tamayo, Despite Violation of International Convention

The State of Texas is scheduled to execute Edgar Tamayo on January 22, 2014 for the 1994 murder of Officer Guy Gaddis of the Houston Police Department.  Tamayo, who is a Mexican national, was denied his right to seek consular assistance after his arrest, as required under article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.  Mexican authorities did not learn of his case until a week before the start of the trial and were therefore unable to provide him with adequate legal counsel. Tamayo’s court-appointed attorney failed to present substantial mitigating evidence about his abusive childhood and developmental problems, which might have impacted the jury’s decision in the sentencing phase.

As reported last month in the New York Times, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has warned Texas officials that Tamayo’s execution threatens to harm international relations and undermines the government’s ability to assist Americans who are detained abroad.  The State of Texas has executed at least six Mexican nationals despite similar diplomatic appeals relation to the violation of their rights under the Vienna Convention.  Approximately 23 foreign nationals are currently on death row in Texas.

More information about the case is available through an Urgent Action issued by Amnesty International.