The Americas

U.N. Official Calls for Texas Governor to Block Execution of Mexican National

A top United Nations official is urging the governor of Texas to call off the execution of a Mexican national convicted of murder because he was not told of his right for diplomatic advice when he was arrested, according to Reuters.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is calling for Gov. Rick Perry to commute the sentence to life in prison for Humberto Leal Garcia. Garcia was convicted of raping and killing a 16-year-old girl in February 1998.

"The lack of consular assistance and advice raises concerns about whether or not Mr. Leal Garcia's right to a fair trial was fully upheld," Rupert Colville, Pillay's spokesman, told Reuters.

Colville says that Garcia should have been informed that he was allowed diplomatic assistance when he was arrested. He also says this has been a "continuous problem" for the U.S. that authorities fail to inform foreign nationals of their consular rights, according to Reuters.

Several former U.S. law enforcement officials and ex-diplomats appealed last month that Garcia's execution be blocked, arguing it puts the safety of Americans at risk abroad.

But Perry apparently doesn't plan to take his cues from the U.N.

"The governor would have to receive a favorable recommendation from the Board of Pardons and Paroles to consider the clemency requested," a spokesperson for the governor told Reuters.

Click here for more on this report from Reuters.