Mexico pursues appeal to stay executions in US

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Mexico made an emergency appeal to the U.N.'s highest court Thursday to block the execution of its citizens on death row in the U.S.

Mexico's chief advocate Juan Manuel Gomez-Robledo said the U.S. was "in breach of its international obligations" by disregarding a 2004 judgment by the U.N.'s International Court of Justice, which ruled Mexicans were denied the right to consular advice after their arrests, as guaranteed by an international treaty.

The court, informally known as the World Court, has ruled that the Mexicans were entitled to "review and reconsideration" of their trials and sentences to determine whether the violation of the 1963 Vienna Convention affected their cases.

President Bush accepted the judgment and asked state courts to review the cases.

Texas refused, and the issue went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled last March by a 6-3 vote that Bush lacked the authority to compel state courts to comply with the judgment from The Hague. The Vienna Convention cannot be binding on the states unless Congress enacts legislation enforcing it as federal law, the Supreme Court said.