Many people thought it was a bit odd when Governor Rick Perry indicated that he might run for President of the United States after previously suggesting that Texas may want to secede from the United States. Perry seems not only want to be the John C. Calhoun of presidential aspirants, but he has also decided to add the violation of international law and treaties as a resume booster. Over the objections of President Obama and a host of leading international figures, Perry has refused to stop the execution of of Humberto Leal Garcia — a Mexican national denied his rights under the Vienna Convention.
Texas police and prosecutors have repeatedly violated the Vienna Convention by not informing foreign citizens of their right to consult with their embassies. Leal is a convicted rapist and murderer.
Leal, 38, was killed a 16-year-old girl in San Antonio. Texas police and prosecutors never told him about the right to speak to his embassy. This violation was either a knowingly disregard of the law or an act of gross negligence. Yet, the prosecutors and police have faced no repercussions for causing this international controversy. Moreover, Perry refuses to meet his obligation to satisfy international obligations that are expressly required under a treaty.
Consular access is a vital protection for Americans traveling abroad, but Texas is about undermine that protection by refusing to address a clear violation of its own officials. Imagine the response of other countries when an American is held in places like Iran or North Korea. They are likely to invoke the Texas Rule and deny such access. Once again, the United States appears to view international obligations and law as binding on every one but ourselves. This is not an isolated case. In 2004, the United States was found to have violated the treaty in 51 cases involving Mexicans awaiting execution — many in Texas.