Mexico Defends Asylum for Honduran Sought in Bombing
MEXICO CITY (AP) _ The Foreign Ministry said Wednesday the Mexican Embassy in Honduras acted within international treaties in granting asylum to a Honduran wanted for questioning in a bombing that wounded six Americans.
A statement from the ministry said the question of asylum for Alfonso Guerrero Ulloa was ″a matter of exclusive concern″ to Mexico and Honduras.
A diplomatic source in Mexico City said on Monday that U.S. officials had visited the Mexican Foreign Ministry to discuss the matter but stopped short of making a formal protest.
Five U.S. servicemen and an American citizen were among the 12 people wounded Aug. 8 when a homemade bomb exploded in a Chinese restaurant in the Honduran town of Comayagua. The town is near Palmerola air base, a center of U.S. military activity in Central America.
On Sept. 18, Guerrero Ulloa was given asylum in the Mexican Embassy in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa after learning police were looking for him.
The Foreign Ministry’s statement said the embassy in Tegucigalpa informed the Honduran government ″immediately″ of its decision to shelter the 30- year-old Ulloa.
The statement cited the Havana Convention on Asylum and the Montevideo Convention on the Right of Asylum, quoting articles as saying asylum is granted ″in cases of emergency and for the time strictly needed for the person seeking asylum to otherwise put himself in safety″ and that ″the judgment of the political crime falls to the country granting asylum.″
In addition, the statement said ″no authority has presented any proof of Mr. Guerrero Ulloa’s participation in the attack which Honduran authorities said he committed. Moreoever, there does not exist any evidence that (Guerrero Ulloa) stands accused or is being tried in a legally established form before the competent courts and for common crimes.″
It noted that the ″institution of asylum ... seeks to protect those persons who believe their safety, freedom or life is threatened.″
Honduran authorities asked Monday that Mexico deliver Ulloa to them.
The Foreign Ministry’s statement did not address that request.