- The Washington Times - Monday, December 15, 2003

MEXICO

U.S. challenged on trials of aliens

THE HAGUE - Mexico asked the World Court yesterday to order the United States to retry 52 Mexicans on death row because it says they were not told of their right to consular help after being arrested.

Mexico accuses U.S. authorities of breaching the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by failing to tell the Mexicans subsequently sentenced to death in 10 U.S. states of their right to assistance from their national representatives.

“We are asking the court to tell the United States to retry these nationals, but this time with the consular assistance they are entitled to,” said Juan Manuel Gomez Robledo, chief legal representative for Mexico. Over the last several years, 55 Mexicans who got consular assistance avoided the death penalty, the legal team said.

According to Amnesty International, 71 prisoners were executed in the United States last year, bringing to 820 the number put to death since its resumption of capital punishment in 1977. The death penalty has not been applied in Mexico for at least four decades.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Ruling party splits over 04 candidacy

SANTO DOMINGO - A faction of the ruling party announced on Sunday its candidate for presidential elections next year, underlining a split with President Hipolito Mejia.

Hatuey De Camps, 56, was declared the candidate for the “anti-re-election” faction of the center-leftist Dominican Revolutionary Party. The faction says that by seeking re-election next May, Mr. Mejia is rejecting the partys opposition to “continuism” the countrys tradition of long-serving leaders.

Mr. De Camps, the party president, says Mr. Mejia has gone back on his word. “President Mejia is a man who gave his word he would not seek re-election, but he has made a mockery of his party and the people,” Mr. De Camps said. Mr. Mejia, who won office in 2000, is seeking the official candidacy for the party at another convention called by his supporters for Sunday.

Weekly notes

A day after he was sworn in, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin met Saturday with his new Cabinet and said the first order of business would be creating an independent ethics commissioner to monitor his Liberal Party governments behavior. Mr. Martin has already ordered his ministers to travel on regular commercial aircraft and avoid use of private jets unless authorized in advance by the ethics commissioner. Brazils ruling Workers Party expelled four leftist lawmakers after they voted against the party on legislation being sought by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Two-thirds of the partys 84-member ruling body voted to exclude Sen. Heloisa Helena and Reps. Joao Fontes, Luciana Genro and Batista de Araujo for their votes against the government in key votes on pensions and tax reform.


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