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Cárdenas: executed last night in Texas. Cárdenas: executed last night in Texas.

Peña Nieto condemns Mexican’s execution

Last-minute efforts fail to halt lethal injection of convicted killer

President Enrique Peña Nieto last night condemned the execution of Mexican national Rubén Cárdenas Ramírez by the state of Texas.

“I express my firm condemnation of the execution . . . which violates a ruling by the International Court of Justice,” the president tweeted after Cárdenas was executed by lethal injection last night despite last-minute efforts by Mexican authorities to obtain a delay.

The United States Supreme Court yesterday refused to review the case.

Mexico fought the execution on the grounds that Cárdenas had been denied consular assistance from his government, in contravention of international law. The killer’s lawyers also wanted to see new DNA tests conducted because, they said, the initial testing was now obsolete, which left doubts about his guilt.

Cárdenas, 47, was convicted of kidnapping, raping and killing his 16-year-old cousin in 1997.

Mexico’s consul general in Texas said the case was not about culpability. “. . . this is not an issue of culpability or innocence but about respect for human rights and due process,” Carlos González Gutiérrez said.

The Foreign Affairs Secretariat (SRE) said in a statement it “strongly protested” the United States’ failure to comply with the international court’s ruling that mandated it to review and reconsider Cárdenas’ case.

“The government of Mexico opposes the death penalty as it considers it one of the most basic human rights violations as well as a cruel and inhuman punishment that erodes the dignity of the people,” it said.

Cárdenas made no statement before he was killed, but his family read a letter from him later. “I will not and cannot apologize for someone else’s crime, but I will be back for justice. You can count on that!”

He has claimed he was high on cocaine at the time of the murder.

The family of the victim expressed relief. “Words can’t begin to describe the relief it feels to know that there is true peace after so much pain and sorrow,” her sister said in a statement released by prison officials.

Source: Reforma (sp), BBC (en), New York Daily News (en)

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