The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights deplores the
execution in the United States of Miguel Angel Flores on Thursday,
November 9, 2000. Mr. Flores, a Mexican National, was put to death despite
formal requests by the Commission for the United States to stay Mr.
Flores' execution until the Commission had an opportunity to investigate a
human rights complaint filed on his behalf. The United States, as a Member
State of the Organization of American States, is subject to the
Commission's jurisdiction to receive and investigate human rights
complaints lodged against it.
October 16, 2000, the Commission received a complaint on behalf of Mr.
Flores, alleging that the United States had violated Mr. Flores' human
rights under the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man,
including his right to life under Article I of that instrument.
In particular, the complaint argued that Mr. Flores was imprisoned,
tried and sentenced to death without being informed of his right to
consular assistance from Mexico, his country of nationality, under Article
36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, a treaty which the
United States has ratified. The complaint also indicated that Mr. Flores
was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on November 9, 2000.
October 25, 2000, the Commission opened Case No. 12.333 in respect of Mr.
Flores' complaint, and formally requested under Article 29(2) of the
that the United States take all necessary measures to stay Mr. Flores'
execution until the Commission had an opportunity to investigate the
allegations in Mr. Flores' petition. By subsequent communication dated
November 7, 2000, the Commission reiterated its request for the United
States to stay Mr. Flores' execution. The United States did not respond to
either of these communications, and the Commission has learned that Mr.
Flores' execution proceeded on November 9, 2000 as scheduled.
Commission is gravely concerned that the United States failed to
acknowledge or respect its requests to postpone Mr. Flores' execution and
thereby deprived Mr. Flores of his fundamental right to have the
Commission determine the merits of his complaints. In light of the
irreparable damage caused to the victims of potential human rights abuses
in cases involving threats to the most fundamental right to life, the
Commission reiterates its call for the United States and other OAS Member
States to comply with the Commission's requests for precautionary measures
in such circumstances and thereby properly and fully respect their
international human rights obligations.
 Article 29(2) of the Commission's Regulations provides: "In urgent cases, when it becomes necessary to avoid irreparable damage to persons, the Commission may request that provisional measures be taken to avoid irreparable damage in cases where the denounced facts are true."