Edgar Tamayo Arias is set to be executed by the state of Texas on Wednesday, January 22. Here’s the background from Heather Beaudoin at Equal Justice USA:
Tamayo, a Mexican National, was convicted ten years ago of killing a police officer, but was never notified of his right to contact his consulate in Mexico. Consequently, evidence of his mental retardation, brain damage, and the fact that he spoke almost no English were never brought up at his trial. If these facts had been brought up, there’s a good chance that he would be serving life in prison instead of facing the death penalty.”
Tamayo’s execution would not only violate his rights protected under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, a treaty that protects Americans abroad as well as foreign nationals within the United States, but it would jeopardize the security of thousands of Americans serving as Christian missionaries around the world. Even Secretary of State John Kerry is worried about the implications. In September Sec. Kerry sent unprecedented letters to Texas Governor, Rick Perry, and Attorney General Greg Abbott:
Mr. Tamayo’s case directly impacts U.S. foreign relations as well as our country’s ability to provide consular assistance to U.S. citizens overseas.”
Worldwide, Christian persecution nearly doubled in 2013 as compared to 2012, according to a report from Open Doors. Worldwide 2,123 Christians were “martyred” for their faith in 2013, while 1,201 were killed in 2012. If Secretary Kerry, and others, are correct, then the execution of Tamayo on January 22 could lead to increased difficulty providing assistance to U.S. citizens overseas and possibly even increases in Christian missionary deaths in 2014.
Please join RLC in urging Governor Perry to ensure Mr. Tamayo receives a fair trial. Such a trial brings justice to Mr. Tamayo and help protect U.S. missionaries across the globe.