Mexican National Scheduled for Execution for 1997 Murder
WESLACO – A convicted murderer from the Rio Grande Valley on death row is scheduled to die in 24 hours.
In 1997, Ruben Ramirez Cardenas was convicted for the rape and death of 16-year-old Mayra Laguna.
His execution is the focus of a heated international war of words and a new lawsuit. Cardenas is out of legal options.
Attorneys for the Mexican national were trying to prevent his scheduled execution.
They announced late Tuesday the filing of a new civil rights suit on his behalf.
The suit claims Cardenas innocent.
Hidalgo County prosecutors disagree. They declined to comment due to the sensitivity of the case.
Oscar Avila is vice counsel of the Mexican Consulate’s Office in McAllen.
He said under the Vienna Convention, authorities who suspect a foreigner of a crime should immediately notify their corresponding consulate then a consulate representative would meet with the suspect to ensure three things happen.
“Number one, the respect of due process. That the process has a correct representation. Also, they verify that the person has legal representation, an attorney. And they also verify the person's human rights are respected,” explained Avila.
Mexico’s leaders have long fought to save the lives of Mexican nationals sent to death row in the U.S.
Mexico is an anti-death penalty nation.
The standard argument usually centers on notification processes, but this time, Cardenas attorneys also tried to stop the execution, arguing for DNA testing.
Their argument was denied late Tuesday evening.
Cardenas is now on schedule for execution Wednesday at 6 p.m.
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