Statement of Former U.S. Diplomats Regarding the Execution of Humberto Leal Garcia

"The United States was founded on a commitment to the rule of law, and we believe it still stands for that commitment. But today's execution of a foreign national of our critical international partner Mexico violates a binding legal obligation and threatens to undermine the strength of our credibility in the eyes of our international partners. We are disappointed that Texas has chosen not to comply with the clear international legal obligations of the United States under the U.N. Charter and unanimously confirmed by the Supreme Court.

"In light of this irrevocable breach of our nation's international legal obligations, it is now more imperative than ever that Congress and the Obama Administration move immediately to provide for our nation's full compliance in the future by enacting the Consular Notification Compliance Act.

"The ability of the United States to secure future international agreements vital to the protection of our citizens, our national security, and our commercial interests depends largely on whether this nation is perceived as honoring its international commitments. We now look to Congress and the Obama Administration to act without delay to discharge this treaty commitment on behalf of the entire United States. Prompt congressional action will ensure that the cases of other foreign nationals who did not receive the consular notification required by the Vienna Convention on Consular Rights will move towards a final and legal resolution that respects the rule of law.

"Congress and the Administration should move immediately to enact legislation ensuring compliance with our international obligations. The safety of our citizens abroad, and our nation's reputation and standing among its international treaty partners, depend on it."

Harry Barnes, Jr.
U.S. Ambassador to Chile, 1985-1988; U.S. Ambassador to India, 1981-1985; Director General of the Foreign Service 1977-1981; U.S. Ambassador to Romania, 1974-1977

John B. Bellinger, III
Partner, Arnold & Porter LLP; Legal Advisor to the Department of State, 2005-2009; Legal Advisor to the National Security Council, 2001-2005

David E. Birenbaum
Of Counsel, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP; Senior Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; U.S. Ambassador to the UN for UN Management and Reform, 1994-96

James R. Jones
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, 1993-1997; Member of U.S. Congress (D-OK), 1973-1987

Thomas R. Pickering
Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, 1997-2000; U.S. Ambassador and Representative to the United Nations, 1989-1992

July 7, 2011

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