February 11, 1993
To: All Progressive People in Mexico
From: Professor Francis A. Boyle
Subject: Stopping the Execution of Mexican Citizens in the United States
I am writing on behalf of all Mexican Citizens and Mexican-American dual nationals who have been sentenced to death and are currently awaiting execution in prisons here in the United States, as well as on behalf of Mexican Citizens and Mexican-American dual nationals who undoubtedly will be sentenced to death in this country. As you know, there is an enormous racial disparity when it comes to the imposition of the death penalty upon People of Color here in the United States. And People of Mexican descent are far more likely to be sentenced to death than are White People in the United States.
I have developed a strategy to put a hold upon all executions of Citizens of Mexico as well as those with dual Mexican-American citizenship here in the United States. But I will need your help to put this plan into motion. If you agree with my proposal and launch a public campaign to carry it out, this could put pressure upon President Salinas to implement it and thus save a lot of Mexican People from certain death here in the United States. My proposal is as follows:
Both the United States and Mexico are still parties to the infamous "Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits and Settlement," signed at Guadalupe Hidalgo on February 2, 1848, which ended the so-called Mexican-American War. Article 21 thereof contains a dispute settlement clause that mandates arbitration between the two countries concerning any matter related to the Treaty or other matters concerning the political or commercial relations of the two states. Hence, you could mount a nationwide campaign in Mexico to convince the Mexican government to invoke Article 21 of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo against the United States government over the execution of Mexican Citizens and dual nationals. Mexico must formally demand a stay of execution for all of them pending the arbitration proceedings, which could take quite some time.
Here in the United States, we could then use this invocation to seek stays of execution for all Mexican Citizens or dual nationals around the country pending the conclusion of the arbitration proceedings on the grounds that the Treaty is the "supreme law of the land" under Article 6 of the United States Constitution. Hence, the stays of execution would be requested either by the United States Federal government itself under the Clinton administration, or else on a case-by-case basis by the attorneys of record for each Mexican Citizen or dual national sentenced to death. My best guess is that if you could get the Mexican government to invoke Article 21, then this maneuver could buy us five years or so on the executions of Mexican Citizens and dual nationals here in the United States while the arbitration proceedings carry on. This delay would give us precious time to mount additional challenges to the imposition of the death penalty upon people of all colors here in the United States.
Obviously, the invocation of Article 21 would require you to build a substantial grass roots campaign and pressure upon the Mexican government. Right now President Salinas seems to be more interested in getting the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) than he is in protecting the human rights and sovereignty of the Mexican People. But with enough time and pressure from the grass roots, and especially during a presidential election campaign, you might be able to turn the government around on the invocation of Article 21. It seems to me that whatever their political persuasions, all Mexican presidential candidates as well as candidates for other public offices in Mexico should be prepared to support a campaign to prevent the execution of Mexican Citizens and Mexican-American dual nationals in the United States.
Well that is my proposal. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at 217-333-7954. We in the United States need your help to stop the mass murder of Mexican Citizens and dual nationals in this country. Their lives are literally in your hands. I ask you to give the most serious consideration to the invocation of Article 21.
Thank you very much for your kind attention to this matter. It has been greatly appreciated.
Yours very truly,
Francis A. Boyle
Professor of International Law
Francis A. Boyle
504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Champaign, IL 61820 USA
(personal comments only)