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Medellin execution draws little public protest in Mexico

August 7, 2008 |  9:20 am


The execution of Jose Medellin on Tuesday evening in Texas drew little immediate public protest, despite the Mexican government's attempt to intervene and postpone the execution of the convicted rapist and murderer.

"Mexicans struggling with increasingly gruesome crimes at home gave the most muted reactions in recent memory to the execution of one of their own citizens in Texas."

"With Mexican news dominated by the kidnap-killing of 14-year-old Fernando Marti, the execution of Mexican Jose Medellin for the 1993 rape-murder of two girls in Texas appears to have sparked far less outrage than people here have shown in previous death penalty cases," reports the Dallas Morning News today.

Although Medellin's case had provoked demonstrations in recent days in the border cities of Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa, the protests that the American Embassy predicted would arise outside their offices on Mexico City's Reforma avenue never materialized. Last week, the Embassy had issued a warning to U.S. citizens to avoid the anticipated demonstrations, saying that Mexican activists could use the occasion "to incite anti-U.S. sentiment in general."

A small group of Medellin's family in Nuevo Laredo did protest his execution Tuesday night.

"A large black bow and a banner that read "No to the death penalty ... may God forgive you," hung from an iron fence in the front of the house where Medellin lived until moving to the United States at the age of 3." Dallas Morning News.

Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department said it sent a note of protest to the U.S. State Department about the case.

-- Deborah Bonello and Reed Johnson in Mexico City

Photo: An empty bench outside the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. -- the scheduled time of Jose Medellin's execution in Texas. The protests predicted by the Embassy over Medellin's execution never materialized. The execution was postponed a few hours and Medellin was pronounced dead at 9:57 p.m. local time. Credit: Deborah Bonello / Los Angeles Times