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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|Where's Sen. Salazar on This One? UPDATE AND BUMP AND UPDATE|
The arrest over the weekend of Raul Gomez-Garcia, the assassin of Denver Police Officer Donny Young, has brought to light some of the utter folly of U.S.-Mexican extradition treaties.
Mexican authorities will not return Raul Garcia-Gomez to the United States unless prosecutors agree to spare him from execution and life without parole, the Mexican consul in Denver said Monday.
Juan Marcos Gutierrez-Gonzalez, consul general of Mexico in Denver, stressed the cooperation between Mexican and U.S. authorities that resulted in Garcia-Gomez's arrest Saturday night.
"We are now having one of the best moments of Colorado-Mexico relations," he said.
But the consul said recent court rulings in his country prevent the extradition of suspects facing either of the United States' harshest penalties.
A longstanding treaty between the U.S. and Mexico specifically bars extradition in death penalty cases. Mexico's highest court recently expanded the limits, rejecting extradition for cases in which life without parole was a possibility, Gutierrez-Gonzalez said.
Okay, fine. Silly treaty, but I'm sure we are subject to many of these. What can be done about it?
Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., is calling upon Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to intervene directly to expedite the extradition process.
"The murder of Detective Young has touched many Coloradans who respect and appreciate the service performed by law enforcement officers," Allard wrote in a letter to Rice that was released Monday. "Many of my constituents view this extradition case as a test of our nation's ability to hold accountable illegal immigrants who commit crimes in the United States."
Now, I realize it's pretty early, and maybe our junior Senator doesn't know how such things work. And it's also just as likely the Sen. Allard is braying at the moon. But this issue touches on many issues which Ken Salazar, Hispanic (who DID play that card during his campaign), former State's Attorney General, who should be running point on many immigration-related issues, should be strong on.
This is one particular case that is right in Sen. Salazar's wheelhouse, and his silence on the issue is, well, disappointing. Perhaps he's too busy brokering silly deals in back rooms of Washington halls of power to deal with issues his constituents care about.
UPDATE: I heard on the news tonight, though I can't find the link at this time, that Sen. Salazar has sent a letter to the U.S. Attorney General's Office and the office of the Mexican Consul General requesting expedited extradition. Or something like that. Honestly, the news was on in the background, and I only heard the story with about half an ear. If some of the details are off the mark, I apologize. The point is, Salazar HAS gotten himself involved in this story.
UPDATE II: here's the link to the Salazar story.