Mexico Looks to Extradite El Paso Shooter

by Tarik Johnson

Following the mass shooting in El Paso Texas last weekend, Mexico declared it will take legal action against the shooter and the gunmakers. Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard, condemned the attack on Twitter saying, “the position, the indignation of Mexico, translates first in protecting the affected families,” and that there be “effective, prompt, expeditious and forceful legal actions for Mexico“ to protect Mexicans in the United States. The mass shooting committed by Dallas resident Patrick Crusius, 21, left eight Mexican nationals dead while six Mexican citizens still remain in the Hospital. Ebrard agreed with comments by President Trump Monday that racism and white supremacy are serious problems that fueled the massacre.

Ebrard said that Mexico may seek to extradite Crusius under the existing extradition treaty between the two countries. However, extraditing an American shooter to Mexico for crimes committed in the US is not easy and requires several steps. According to the rule on foreign extradition, the foreign embassy must first request the State or Justice Department, then review and forward the request to the DOJ’s Office of International Affairs (OIA). If the OIA deems the request “sufficient and appropriate” it forwards it to the US Attorney’s Office in the district where the fugitive is located. A US Attorney is then assigned to the case and appears in court in support of the request for extradition, with the prosecutor representing the US in fulfilling its obligations under the extradition treaty.

There are fewer legal protections in an extradition hearing than in other criminal proceedings, as neither the Federal Rules of Evidence nor the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure apply to the extradition hearing. A judge determines whether the fugitive is extraditable and, if so, certifies the extradition and sends the record to the Secretary of State, who ultimately decides whether to surrender the individual.

Ebrard is planning meetings to be held in Texas, California, Chicago, New York and Atlanta with the consuls of Mexico in the United States to expand the protocols for care and protection of Mexicans. “We are also calling for a meeting of Spanish-speaking countries with communities in the United States,” Ebrard told Politico, to safeguard “the culture and rights” of their citizens in the U.S.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador did not attribute the attack as the U.S. government’s responsibility, saying the shooting was “a product of [societal] decomposition, of problems certain people have. It’s not a generalized issue.” López Obrador said Mexico did not want to get mixed up in the U.S. presidential campaign. But, he said, “we reaffirm our conviction that no one should confront social problems with the use of force or by inciting others to violence.”

In response to the El Paso and Dayton shootings which occurred within less than a day of each other, two South American countries issued travel warnings for citizens traveling to the US. Uruguay’s Office of Foreign Ministry issued an advisory Monday saying citizens should “take precaution amid the growing indiscriminatory violence, specifically hate crimes including racism and discrimination which costed 250 lives in the past 7 months.” The notice cited “indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population” and the “impossibility of authorities to prevent these situations,” as the reasons for traveler precautions.

Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry office also issued a warning to its residents Monday, saying “recent proliferation of violent acts and hate crimes” should be cause for concern and that “These increasing acts of violence have found an echo and support in the conversations and actions impregnated by racial discrimination and hatred against migrant populations, pronounced and executed by the supremacist elite who holds political power in Washington.”

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