M. E. Sprengelmeyer, Rocky Mountain News (Denver), June 29
WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives sent a stern message to Mexico on Tuesday night, voting to block $66 million in U.S. aid if the country does not extradite suspected cop-killers without strings attached.
Angered by the killing of Denver Police Detective Donald Young, the House voted 327-98 to approve an amendment offered by Rep. Bob Beauprez, R-Arvada, to a foreign operations spending bill.
It calls for cutting off U.S. aid to any country that fails to extradite suspects in the killing of federal, state or local law enforcement officers.
Beauprez said it applies to Mexico because, based on a ruling of the country’s supreme court, it will not extradite suspects if they could face the death penalty or life without possibility of parole in the United States.
Beauprez is upset that Mexico’s restrictions forced prosecutors to avoid first-degree murder charges against Raul Gomez-Garcia, who is being held in a Mexican prison in connection with the May 8 killing of Young.
Instead, Gomez-Garcia was charged with second-degree murder in Young’s death, and attempted first-degree murder of Denver police Detective John “Jack” Bishop. They were working off-duty but in uniform at a baptismal party May 8 when they were shot.
“A 3-1 margin sends a pretty clear message — that’s not a partisan vote,” Beauprez said after his victory. “This is not an anti-Mexico vote. It’s simply a statement about living within the boundaries of your extradition treaties.