Forcing Mexico To Extradite: The Wheels Of Justice Are Grinding


I first met Los Angeles County
Deputy District Attorney

Jan Maurizi in
2002.

At the time, I was doing research
regarding Mexico`s refusal to
extradite its nationals back to the U.S
. after they
had committed
capital crimes.

Through Maurizi, I later met

Anabella Vara,


Saul Zavala,
the

March family
and

Jack Morales.

They are among the 350 victim
families who have pleaded with U.S. President George W.
Bush and Mexico`s President Vicente Fox to send

cold-blooded killers
back from Mexico to California
for trial.

But neither

Fox nor Bush
demonstrates

the least interest
in the families` pleas.

No one can fathom why Bush is
disengaged. The White House cites….well, nothing.

My educated guess is that Bush
counts his

"relationship"

with Fox as more important than the murder of
innocent of US citizens.

Although Bush speaks often of
"bringing terrorists to justice,"
he has been
conspicuously absent from the concerted effort of
California law enforcement officers who insist that
Mexico comply with original Extradition Treaty signed by
President Jimmy Carter in 1978.

According to the treaty, any offense
is extraditable if it is a crime in both countries and
punishable by incarceration for a period of one year or
more.

But Mexico is slippery. In an
October 2001 Supreme Court decision, Mexico ruled that it
would not extradite unless criminals would be spared not
only the death sentence (as per the Extradition Treaty.
See exact language here:

Extradition/Foreign Prosecution, Mexico
) but also
life imprisonment.

Mexico, ever

hypocritical
, insists that the

death penalty
is

cruel and unusual punishment.
And, with its 2001
decision, Mexico further claims that life sentences deny
criminals an opportunity at rehabilitation.

The bottom line is that Mexico will
not extradite unless prosecutors guarantee a fixed term
sentence—even for

murder
. No district attorney in the country will
allow Mexico to dictate sentencing terms

So because Bush and Fox have opted
not to involve themselves, maggots like

Daniel Perez
,

Alvarado Jara
,

Armando Garcia
 and

Juan Manuel Casillas-Arellano
 are free in Mexico.

But as the saying goes, "The
wheels of justice grind slowly but they grind exceeding
fine.
"

Earlier this week, Maurizi updated
me on her progress:

"I know
I haven`t been in touch for a while because I have been
absolutely swamped with the minutia of our efforts
regarding extradition. I`ve probably drafted 1,000
documents, had hundreds of meetings, conference calls,
etc, etc, since we last met. We are making considerable
progress and I look forward to the day when we can meet
again to CELEBRATE our victories and map out our plan for
future efforts. I can promise you that not a day goes by
that we don`t make some small progress on our ultimate
goal of getting our fugitives back."

Maurizi continued:

"In the
meantime, we are finally about to launch

www.escapingjustice.com
this Wednesday, November
17th. District Attorney Steve Cooley and I will be
introducing the site to about 11,000 Chiefs of Police on
that date and it will be available to all of you and your
friends that evening. Remember that it is an interactive
website and can be changed or added to at any time."

The website, which you can also
access at

www.escapandojusticia.com
, debuted at the annual
International Association of Chiefs of Police

convention held in Los Angeles.

One of the website`s most
interesting features is a

timeline of the legislative milestones
paving the way
toward a meaningful extradition policy.

Among the key developments are:

  • In March 2003, California
    Representative Howard (Buck) McKeon introduced

    Congressional Resolution 93
    . McKeon urged President
    Bush to renegotiate the extradition treaty with Mexico
    so that the possibility of capital punishment or life
    imprisonment in the will not interfere with the timely
    transfer of criminal suspects from Mexico to the United
    States.

  • In November 2003,California
    Senator Dianne Feinstein  introduced

    Senate Concurrent Resolution 79
    urging "the sense
    of Congress" that the President should address Mexico`s
    continued failure to fulfill its obligations under the
    original extradition treaty.

  • In September 2004 California
    Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed

    Assembly Bill 1432
    that amends the existing Penal
    Code by eliminating the bar to reprosecution in the US
    after conviction or acquittal in a foreign jurisdiction
    if the fugitive reenters the US.

Feinstein`s resolution generated
strong letters of support from the

National Troopers Coalition,
the

California State Sheriffs` Association,
the

National Association of Police Organizations, Inc
.
and the

National Narcotics Officers` Associations Coalitions
.


Dennis J. Slocumb,
International Vice President of
the International Union of Police Associations wrote to
Senator Joseph Biden, the top Democrat on the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee and the Judiciary
Subcommittee on Crime.

Slocumb`s letter, written on behalf
of 100,000 officers nationwide, summarizes how American
feel about the tacit agreement between Fox and Bush to
ignore extradition:

"Our
nation`s citizens have a right to expect that persons
committing serious crimes will not be offered safe haven
in a country that professes to be our friend. For years,
Mexico has refused to extradite persons facing capital
punishment in the US. Since October 2001, Mexico has
extended that ban to persons facing life imprisonment.

With the
porous border and expanding international travel between
the US and Mexico, hundreds of criminals who are fleeing
justice from serious crimes here are being given
sanctuary in Mexico. This policy actually provides
incentive for people wanted for serious crimes here to
kill an officer trying to make an arrest and head for
Mexico."

During the I.A.P.C conference,
Maurizi presented a brief history of the case of

Ira Einhorn
—the counter-culture icon who was deported
from France to face a  1977 murder charge.

Using Einhorn as an example of how a
complex murder case
more than a quarter of a century
old can end in

extradition
, Maurizi encouraged victim families to
never give up.

To everyone involved in bringing the
fugitives back from Mexico, Maurizi said:

"Thanks for your enduring
patience and please keep the faith—together we`ll get
there."

Joe Guzzardi [email
him], an instructor in English at the Lodi
Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column
since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.