Edgar Tamayo, 46, who was denied an 11th-hour stay of execution by
the U.S. Supreme Court, was pronounced dead at 9:32 p.m. local time
at a state prison in Huntsville, Texas, according to officials at
the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
The Mexican government had called on Texas to halt the execution,
calling it a violation of international law, and U.S. Secretary of
State John Kerry had asked Texas Governor Rick Perry to consider a
Tamayo was convicted of shooting Houston police officer Guy Gaddis
to death in 1994. Gaddis had arrested him on suspicion of robbery.
While handcuffed in the police car, Tamayo pulled a pistol that had
gone unseen and shot Gaddis, 24, three times in the back of the
head. Tamayo kicked open a window and ran away from the car but was
arrested again a few blocks from the scene.
The Mexican government contends Tamayo was not informed of his right
to diplomatic assistance in the case, a guarantee enshrined in an
international treaty known as the Vienna Convention on Consular
In 2004, the United Nations' International Court of Justice ordered
the United States to reconsider the convictions of 51 Mexicans,
including Tamayo, who had been sent to death row without being
informed of their consular rights.
Two from that group have previously been executed. Tamayo, who was
in the United States illegally at the time of his arrest, became the
HOPING FOR A MIRACLE
As Tamayo's last chance for a reprieve slipped away, anguished
relatives gathered at his parents' home in Miacatlan in central
Mexico, huddling next to radios listening for news from the United
States and praying for a miracle.
A crowd of nieces and nephews erupted in sobs when they heard about
the Supreme Court decision.
"This pains us so much. We kept holding onto hope," said Karen
Arias, one of Tamayo's nieces.
In a statement on Sunday, Mexico's foreign ministry said, "If Edgar
Tamayo's execution were to go ahead without his trial being reviewed
and his sentence reconsidered ... it would be a clear violation of
the United States' international obligations."
Last month, Secretary of State Kerry urged Governor Perry, a foe of
the Obama administration, to reconsider Tamayo's execution because
it could make it more difficult for the United States to help
Americans in legal trouble abroad.
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On Wednesday, the State Department said it has been in communication
with Texas throughout the process. Texas argues it is not bound by
the International Court of Justice ruling.
"Mr. Tamayo was convicted of killing a police officer," State
Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told a news briefing on Wednesday.
"It's not that we don't take that seriously. It's that we take
seriously our obligations to uphold consular access for folks
incarcerated here because we go all over the world and ask other
countries to do the same thing and apply those same obligations when
our folks are incarcerated overseas," she added.
The case has drawn attention from around the world. Tamayo said his
family had received letters of support from at least 67 countries.
Back in his native town of Miacatlan, relatives professed their
belief in Tamayo's innocence.
"He was like any other guy, a bit crazy yes, feisty, but not to the
point of killing someone," said his cousin Kenia, a housewife,
declining to give her surname.
A U.S. federal judge in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday rejected a request
to delay the execution brought on Tamayo's behalf, saying Texas was
operating within its rights.
Tamayo became the fourth person put to death in the United States
this year and the first in Texas.
Texas has executed 508 prisoners since the reinstatement of capital
punishment by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976, the most of any U.S.
(Additional reporting by Liz Diaz in Miacatlan, Sandra Maler in
Washington, Gabriel Stargardter and Julia Symmes Cobb in Mexico City
and Scott Markley; editing by Eric Walsh and Lisa Shumaker)
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