- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 15, 2002

MEXICO CITY (AP) Mexican President Vicente Fox canceled a trip to Texas and a meeting with President Bush to protest the state's execution yesterday of convicted cop killer Javier Suarez Medina.
Mr. Fox had announced an Aug. 26-28 visit to four Texas cities and to Mr. Bush's ranch. But at a hastily organized press conference last night, presidential spokesman Rodolfo Elizondo said Mr. Fox wouldn't make the trip because Texas executed Suarez, whom Mexico says is its citizen.
"This decision is an unequivocal signal of rejection of the execution," Mr. Elizondo said. "It would be inappropriate, in these lamentable circumstances, to go ahead with the visit to Texas."
Suarez, 33, was put to death by lethal injection last night in Huntsville, Texas, after apologizing for the crime and asking forgiveness from the relatives of the slain police officer.
The case strained relations between Mexico and the United States, with Mr. Fox and Mexican lawmakers issuing last-minute appeals for clemency and the prisoner's relatives and friends praying for his life in the Mexican border town of Piedras Negras.
Suarez admitted he shot and killed anti-drug agent Lawrence Cadena during a drug bust in Dallas in 1988, but said he didn't know his victim was a policeman.
Mr. Fox issued several appeals for clemency, saying Suarez was denied his right to assistance from the Mexican consulate at the time of his arrest. Under the Vienna Convention of Consular Relations, detained foreign nationals must be told of their right to contact their consulates.
Texas officials said Suarez gave conflicting information on his birth, saying he was born in Texas and in Mexico. Suarez lived in the United States most of his life and spoke English.

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