1926

AT

Quintanilla Claim Mexico v US US Mexican General Claims Commission

Alejo Quintanilla was killed 1922 in Texas. Alejo had lassoed a girl of 14 years, she screamed and young Mexican escaped. She told the occurrence to her father, who informed the US authorities. Sheriff went to Quintanilla house and took him into custody in direction to the county jail; they never arrived. Quintanilla’s corpse was found near the side of the road. The officers were accused and released on bail; prosecutor made investigations but Grand Jury deferred it and never took action.

If the government is obligated to state what happened to the man in its custody, its officials are bound to inform their government. It might be that the custodians themselves perish in a calamity together with the men in their custody, and therefore cannot furnish any information. But if they are alive, and are silent, the government has to bear the consequences. The commission holds that under international law the respondent government is liable for the damages in this act of a state official and resulting in injustice. [Duty not to harm]