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Dallas Tarrant Bexar Brazos Jefferson Galveston All Others Total and proudly cited the U.S. reservations to Article 6 \(concerning capRights: “The United States reserves the right, subject to its Constitutional constraints, to impose capital punishment on any person \(other permitting the imposition of capital punishment, including such punishment for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age.” According to Amnesty, since 1990 the U.S. has executed six juvenile offenders, more than all other countries combined. Ndiaye told the Observer that in the debate over the Covenant, the U.S. had particularly objected to any human rights restrictions on the execution of minors, as well as provisions urging that capital punishment be restricted to only the “most heinous” crimes. Ndiaye told the Washington Post, “I am very surprised that a country that is usually so open and has been helpful to me on other missions, such as my attempts to investigate human rights abuses in the Congo, should consider my visit an insult.” \(Asked about Helms’ letter, members of the U.S. delegation to the U.N. declined Ndiaye received similar treatment in Florida and California \(where only direct intervention by the State Department enabled surprisingly, he received a much more welcoming response in Texas. He had a brief meeting with Governor Bush, and the gover Source: Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty nor’s General Counsel, Al Gonzales, described to him in detail the governor’s role in the state clemency process. \(“Why wouldn’t we meet with him?,” commented Gonzales. “He’s just doing his job, wanted to know the precise workings of the Texas clemency procedure. He was told that every capital case is reviewed in detail, but that under the constitution, the governor is independently allowed only one thirty-day reprieve. “Otherwise,” said Gonzales, “he must follow the recommendation of the Parole Board.” Gonzales acknowledged that the members of the Board of Pardons and exico larrned by the escalation of extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances, and incidents of torture, Amnesty International’ s Secretary-General Pierre Sane and fifteen members of Al’s executive committee flew to Mexico City on September 22, in an unprecedented display of concern over the breakdown of individual human rights guaran tees. The Mexican government’s response to the largest delegation the Nobel Prizewinning human rights group has ever sent to Mexico? A rude and very public snub. A meeting with President Ernesto Zedillo was canceled at the last minute \(Zedillo and other requests for meetings with the secretaries of Interior, Defense, and Foreign Relations were refused. Or Amnesty’s delegates were handed over to ministry underlings, despite previous arrangements made through Mexico’s London embassy. “In 1995 we were told that the president would meet only with our secretary general. at was w Dr. Sane’s viSi for Latin Amen The snub follows spring of twen 6,1* an ni servers, including four investigator* the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights, who were accused of violating their visa status. During 1997, human rights envoys have been regular visitors to Mexico. In August, Nigel Rodley, special United Nations envoy, spent ten days listening to the testimony of torture victims, while the U.N.’s Committee on Torture has repeatedly urged the Mexican government to enforce laws against the continuing use of torture by security forces. Other work by international human rights groups has been similarly ignored; a report on rural violence issued in Mexico City last May by Human Rights Watch has yet to draw a response from the Zedillo government. Recommendations of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, an arm of the Orga ing I t to Tons In tact Niexi c human rightperformance has turned’. SOW’ that Zedillo even failed to mend of the subject in his annual state of the na-. tion address. In the first nine months of 1997, Amnesty International’s London offices detentions in Mexico, seventy cases of torture, and thirty “disappearances.” Although Secretary-General Sane concedes that his organization has investigated only 150 of the cases, he said that “many qualify as prisoners of conscience.” The former Senegalese diplomat points out that while in the early 1990s, Amnesty listed only five incarcerated Mexicans as prisoners of conscience, “now there are hundreds.” Abuses have further skyrocketed with 10 THE TEXAS OBSERVER NOVEMBER 7, 1997