The 54 Mexicans

Would you believe that now, even in the 21th century, the rights of minority have been denied in the United States of America before? According to Mexico, it is possible. More than 10 Mexicans were sentenced to death, but they weren’t allowed to prove they were innocent. As soon as Mexico learned the truth, they argued 10 states of United States had violated the 54 Mexicans’ consular rights regarding with the Vienna Convention.

The Vienna Convention

Before going on to the case, what is a “consular right” and what does it have to do with the Vienna Convention? Most people do not recognize the difference between the consul and ambassador’s job. However, while the ambassador is the main representative of its country and make negotiations related to culture, economics, military relations, politics, et cetera, the consul usually protect and help their nationals’ civil complaints.

The Vienna Convention on Consular Rights was established in 1963 and contains 79 articles. The article which the States failed to keep is Article 36. The following is an excerpt from the Vienna Convention Article 36 (2).

if he so requests, the competent authorities of the receiving State shall, without delay, inform the consular post of the sending State if, within its consular district, a national of that State is arrested or committed to prison or to custody pending trial or is detained in any other manner. Any communication addressed to the consular post by the person arrested, in prison, custody or detention shall be forwarded by the said authorities without delay.

The Arguments

Mexico repeatedly pointed out to the Court they had not been notified of Mexicans being sentenced to death. The United States had fought back by claiming they had served all detained nationals after the LaGrand Case (Germany v. United States of America. This case was also related with foreigners not able to exercise their consular rights in the States. At the time, the Court was in favor of Germany nationals.) Also, the United States argued the Article 36 “creates no obligations constraining its right to arrest a foreign national”, and so the Court does not have the jurisdictional and admissibility right to make a decision over this case. Yet the Court overruled the objections, and considered this case as “the matter of merits”. In the end, the Court finally judged the United States had indeed breached the obligations regarding to Article 36 on March 2009.

The Bittersweet Taste

After the United States had lost two cases over consular rights in the Court, on March 2005, they removed the Optional Protocol to the Convention, which gave the Court the right to rule over any disputes regarding the Vienna Convention. Then in 2006, the US Supreme Court ruled foreign nationals may not use the treaty to raise legal objections after trial. People didn’t have to think hard why US had taken these measures.

Reporter’s Quotes

After reading the application of Mexico, the reporter couldn’t help but getting surprised at the truth that United States had really denied the consular rights of a foreign. The reporter hopes the readers realize there are more violations of one’s rights than we think, and people should constantly pay their attention and check if their country has violated the Vienna Convention.

 

Written by JeYun Choi

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Olympic-Cultural Parade

1896 in Athens, Greece, the world’s first cultural parade began. The Olympic Flame and the Artistic Program beautifully decorated the scenery, presenting people an unforgettable memory. But most of all, the performances represent the creativity and traditions of the host countries.

“The Olympic Charter is established under the three major components of the Olympic Movement: Sport, Education, and Culture.”

Olympic Games, are an integral part of a modern sport and plays a part in a large number of modern day civilizations. This event provides opportunities to athletes from various cultures to gather together every 4 years and to show off their fitness, but also the extent to which they have adjusted to the general movements and sports, economic, cultural and political demands.

Furthermore, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) emphasizes and maintains its commitment to ensuring the survival of the concept of Olympic as a cultural program and as an event additional and complementary to the sports competitions.

Most importantly, the Olympic can achieve 5 non-exclusive categories on cultural aspects:

  1.  acknowledgment of the city artistic and cultural capacities
  2. improvement of the city cultural services
  3. showcase of the country cultural diversity
  4. international projection
  5. change of image.

 

For the most representative case of Olympics which played a crucial role in one nations’ culture and economy, Seoul ’88 can be it. The games brought the city the opportunity to be known worldwide and achieved a change of image with a marked military past which was a fatal international stereotype.

Olympic Games also benefits the participants since it means to belong to an international elite-the sports elite consisting of the best. Each contestant comes from a certain social group, becoming a star which attracts the public. Having the appearance of an idol thanks to marketing and the media, he/she becomes the promoter of world fashion lines. In that way athletes become popular figures in videos, advertisements, various humanitarian activities, creating a new part of a culture in one’s country.

Olympic Games present the world with a place of multiculturalism as the combination of cultures of equal status. Since 2016 Rio Olympic has done a marvelous role on it, why don’t we expect for the upcoming 2018 Pyeongchang and 2020 Tokyo Olympic?

 

<Reference>

The concept of Olympic cultural programmes: origins, evolution and projection, University lecture on the Olympics ,Beatriz García García   

‘THE OLYMPIC GAMES AS A CULTURAL EVENT’ Zvezdan Savić,  2007