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Confessed Killer Buried in Mexico

August 17, 2002

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PIEDRAS NEGRAS, Mexico (AP) _ With mariachi music playing and hundreds in mourning, family members buried Javier Suarez Medina Saturday, three days after the 33-year-old confessed cop-killer was executed in Texas.

Long lines of vehicles and people on foot accompanied the coffin from the Mass at the city’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic church to the Piedras Negras’ Santo Cristo cemetery. Mourners were from this border city and from the neighboring Texas town of Eagle Pass.

``I never thought the people of Piedras Negras cared so much about my son and were concerned for him,″ said Suarez Medina’s mother, Guadalupe Consuelo Medina, 53.

``Many injustices are committed, and the convict isn’t the only one killed,″ she said. ``The whole family is killed with anguish and pain.″

Suarez Medina’s parents said they were grateful for President Vicente Fox’s continued appeals for clemency in the case. Mexico argued that Suarez Medina was a Mexican who was denied his right to assistance from the Mexican consulate in the United States. But U.S. officials said it wasn’t clear if he was born in the United States.

After the execution, Fox canceled a trip to Texas planned for later this month.

At a wake held Friday for Suarez Medina at a funeral home in Piedras Negras, some mourners carried signs protesting the U.S. application of the death penalty.

``This fight is not over,″ Medina said, noting that her son wanted his family to continue fighting against the death penalty.

She quoted from a text Suarez Medina dictated during one of her last visits with him at a Texas prison: ``Let my death serve to continue the fight for those who remain inside, so that they won’t be forgotten.″

Seventeen Mexicans face the death penalty in Texas and 54 in all of the United States, according to Mexico’s foreign ministry. Four have been executed over the past 10 years: three in Texas and one in Virginia.

But the grieving mother added, ``The U.S. authorities didn’t take away my son. God did it, because that was His will.″

Suarez Medina’s remains were transferred late Thursday from Texas, where he was convicted of shooting to death an undercover policeman in 1988.

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