League of United Latin
With approximately 115,000 members throughout
the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC is the largest and oldest Hispanic
Organization in the United States. LULAC advances the economic condition,
educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanic
Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 600 LULAC
councils nationwide. The organization involves and serves all Hispanic nationality
Historically, LULAC has focused heavily
on education, civil rights, and employment for Hispanics. LULAC councils provide
more than half a million dollars in scholarships to Hispanic students each
year, conduct citizenship and voter registration drives, develop low income
housing units, conduct youth leadership training programs, and seek to empower
the Hispanic community at the local, state and national level.
The Case of Cesar Roberto Fierro Reyna
WHEREAS, Cesar Roberto Fierro Reyna is a Mexican national facing imminent
execution in Texas after 22 years on death row
WHEREAS, he has always maintained his innocence and no physical evidence
of any kind links him to the crime;
WHEREAS, the Texas authorities violated their binding treaty obligation
by failing to inform Mr. Fierro, upon arrest, of his right to seek consular
WHEREAS, Mexican consular authorities were thus unable to provide Mr. Fierro
with crucial consular assistance to remedy serious irregularities in his
interrogation and subsequent trial;
WHEREAS, his conviction and sentence rest on his so-called 'confession'
to the murder;
WHEREAS, the appeal courts have concluded that his confession was coerced
through threats of torture and that the police committed perjury to conceal
their illegal conduct;
WHEREAS, the trial prosecutor has now stated that he would have moved to
suppress the illegal confession and would have dismissed the charges without
WHEREAS, a Texas court determined in 1996 that the Fierro conviction should
be reversed and a new trial held;
WHEREAS, the retrial has never taken place because the state of Texas has
repeatedly appealed that ruling; noting that more than 100 prisoners have
been released nationwide on grounds of innocence, and that many of these wrongful
convictions were based on coerced confessions;
WHEREAS, LULAC is deeply concerned that Texas will execute Mr. Fierro despite
grave and unresolved questions over the fairness of his conviction and his
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that this National Assembly publicly expresses
its full support for the legal efforts to obtain a reversal and new trial
for Cesar Roberto Fierro Reyna;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that LULAC National take immediate action on the
Fierro case, by every appropriate means;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, LULAC will publicly call on the Texas authorities
to grant clemency to Mr. Fierro by commuting his death sentence.
Submitted by LULAC Council #132, El Paso, Texas.
Approved this 29th day of June, 2002.
Hector M. Flores
LULAC National President
WRITTEN QUESTION E-0498/03
by Jules Maaten (ELDR) to the Council
(12 February 2003)
Subject: Statement by the Texas authorities that they intend to disregard
the judgment of the International Court of Justice concerning the execution
of three Mexicans
1. Is the Council aware of the judgment of the UN International Court of
Justice that the execution of three Mexicans in the US State of Texas should
not take place and of the reaction of the Texas authorities who intend to
disregard that judgment?
2. Is the Council aware that this involves multiple breaches of the Vienna
Convention and, in particular, failure to provide consular assistance to
3. Can the Council indicate its reaction to the judgment of the International
Court of Justice and state what action the Greek Council Presidency will
take to prevent the executions?
4. Does the Council realise that the breaches of the Vienna Convention involved
may have implications for citizens of the Member States of the European Union
currently detained in the US or for such citizens who are arrested in the
United States in the future?
5. Is the Council prepared to draw the attention of the United States' authorities
to the fact that commitments entered into under the Vienna Convention, including
consular assistance, are fully applicable to citizens of the Member States
of the European Union?
News Service 173/97
AI INDEX: AMR 51/60/97
EXCERPTS FROM A
It is therefore with great sadness and anger
that I stand before you today having just visited the 440 men that the state
of Texas has deemed unfit to live. As the rest of the world continues to
turn its back on the use of the death penalty, Texas is escalating its state
killing. As the majority of nations realize that the death penalty brutalizes
society, that it is not effective as a crime control measure and that it
has no place in the modern world, Texas moves into the higher league of state-sanctioned
murder along with countries such as Iraq, Iran, China and Nigeria.
PRESS STATEMENT DELIVERED BY PIERRE SANÉ
SECRETARY GENERAL OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL,
FOLLOWING DEATH ROW VISIT
TEXAS -- 9 OCTOBER 1997
Perhaps most alarming of all are the prisoners
condemned to die who are not guilty of the crime for which they were convicted.
Seven men have been released from this prison after being condemned for crimes
for which they are innocent. On average, they spent over 10 years on
death row before being cleared by the appeals process. However, rather than
add further safeguards to ensure that innocent people are not killed by the
state, Texas has passed legislation that will shorten the time taken by legal
appeals. How many innocent people will Texas execute before it realizes that
any justice system is fallible; and that the death penalty is irreversible
and that mistakes cannot be rectified?
Cesar Fierro, a Mexican national, was convicted
and sentenced to death after threats were made to his family in order to obain
a confession from him. He knew that the Mexican Police were holding his mother
and step-father without charge, and was told by the Texan Police that they
would be tortured if he failed to confess. The prosecutor in the case has
since signed an affadavit stating that he believes the Mexican and Texan
police officers conspire dto force the confession from Mr Fierro. Had the
prosecutor been aware of this at the time of his trial, he would have joined
with the defence team's motion to have the confession thrown out. He now
believes that without the forced confession, the charges against Mr Fierro
would have been dropped. Twelve Mexican nationals are under sentence of death
in Texas. None of them were informed of their right to seek assistance from
the Mexican Consulate. This a violation of international law; specifically
of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which was signed by the USA
The US Supreme Court has spoken of an "evolving
standard of decency" for society in its rulings. Now Texas must evolve to
a standard of decency whereby it abandons its use of capital punishment. The
time has come for the state of Texas to end its use of state-sanctioned killings.
The conveyor belt of death must stop.