The late Javier Suarez Medina was given a hero's sendoff.
His funeral, held in Piedras Negras, Mexico, was attended by 6,000 people and his casket was respectfully covered with the Mexican flag. The service lasted over four and a half hours.
Who was this modern-day Mexican hero and why was he so honored? Was he a policemen or firefighter slain in the line of duty, or possibly a beloved author, entertainer or public servant?
No, the late Javier Suarez Medina was a confessed murderer - executed in the state of Texas for killing a police officer.
Mexico's President Vicente Fox wants all Mexicans in the U.S. to receive health benefits and in-state tuition even if they are in the country illegally. He wants them to be able to be citizens of both the U.S. and Mexico (with primary loyalty to Mexico of course).
Oh, and one more thing. If they commit murder, Fox wants them exempt from the death penalty.
The all-out effort by the Fox administration to stop the execution in Texas of confessed cop-killer Javier Suarez Medina failed in the end because –imagine this—Texas governor Perry deemed that in Texas, the law of the land is of more weight than the will of Vicente Fox. (On the execution question, that is - otherwise Perry is perfectly willing to pander to Fox on immigration.)
Because Perry failed to recognize his authority, Fox called off a scheduled trip to Texas (in which, among other activities, Fox was to meet with Bush at Crawford and be recognized as "International Crime Fighter of the Year" in Dallas).
The issue here is not the death penalty itself – well-meaning individuals can honestly disagree on that point. What's rather telling, however, is how Mexican politicians and journalists make heroes out of Mexican murderers condemned to death in the U.S.
There is nothing new about this – Fox's PRI predecessors did the same. Anytime a Mexican is sentenced to death in the U.S., no matter how vile his crime, the Mexican media harps on it and the government makes a diplomatic issue of it.
In 2001, Fox helped to engineer Gerardo Valdez' escape from lethal injection. Valdez was a Mexican condemned to death for murdering another Mexican in Oklahoma. (The victim had made homosexual advances to Valdez so he killed him.)
In the Suarez Medina case, Fox took it even farther. Suarez was executed on August 15th, 2002. Later the same day Fox canceled the Texas trip.
Mexico discontinued the death penalty many decades ago (although the Mexican constitution still authorizes its use, Article 22). Since our southern neighbor also refuses to extradite criminals who might be subject to the death penalty or life imprisonment, Mexico has become a haven for murderers on the lam from the U.S. A Mexican can commit murder in the U.S., run to Mexico and be assured of not being extradited. Over 60 Mexican murderers have availed themselves of the Mexican haven since October of 2001 and will probably never be extradited. A notorious recent case was that of Armando Garcia, a Mexican illegal alien who killed a sheriff in a routine traffic stop in California.
Then there is the still-developing case of Jorge Alberto Lopez, who recently killed his Mexican girlfriend and two of her children. Lopez escaped with his wife and family, and is presumed to have escaped to Mexico.
How Mexican was Suarez? At different times he had given his country of birth as Mexico and as the United States. At the most, he only resided in Mexico for the first three years of his life and he did speak English.
To Fox, however, he was a Mexican. Fox considers anybody of Mexican ancestry to be Mexican - even those who are American citizens.
Which raises another oft-ignored point. Who was Suarez´ victim?
He was Lawrence Cadena, an American citizen of Mexican ancestry - not that it should matter. But, according to the Fox Doctrine, that would make him Mexican also.
Why then, in all the spectacular effort to save Suarez, did Fox make no effort whatsoever to do anything, even express sympathy, to the Cadena family?
Larry Cadena, Jr., son of the policeman murdered by Suarez so many years ago, did not appreciate the Fox campaign to save Suarez Medina. In a letter to Vicente Fox, Cadena wrote
"I wish you could.... speak with my children who are of Mexican descent and tell them why your country is defending the man who killed their grandfather."
That fact that the presidente's trip to Texas was called off is a blessing. Fox already spends too much time in the United States. As president of Mexico, Fox should spend more time here in Mexico actually trying to solve problems.
Having lived in Mexico for years, I have grown used to the way Mexican politicians and journalists make heroes of murderers whose presence they would not countenance in their own posh neighborhoods. Medina Suarez, for example, would certainly not have attracted the attention of Vicente Fox had he remained in Mexico.
My advice to Mexicans who object to the death penalty is simply this—don't go to the U.S. and commit murder.
Certainly, the Suarez Medina case is a tragedy. It's a tragedy that Suarez Medina chose to murder his fellow man. His execution, though just, is nothing to rejoice over.
As he died, Suarez was singing "Amazing Grace". I hope he did find God's grace.
But Suarez´ eternal destiny doesn't alter the fact that, under the laws of the state of Texas, he had committed a capital crime. For the Mexican government to take advantage of this tragedy to further its own political goals, especially when there are still serious human rights problems in Mexico, is unconscionable.
Almost as bad as the U.S. government's supine subservience.
American citizen Allan Wall has lived in Mexico since 1991,and is permitted to live and work there thanks to a legal work permit issued by the Mexican government. VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his FRONTPAGEMAG.COM articles are archived here. Readers can contact Allan Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org
September 09, 2002