1927

AT

Mallén Case US v Mexico

Deputy constable Franco of Texas harboured a personal grudge against the Mexican consul Mallén. Meeting Mallén one day at El Paso, Texas, Franco either slapped Mallén on the face or knocked his hat off “possibly after having said some words in Spanish” Some two months later, while in the street car in El Paso, Franco came up to Mallén, struck him savagely on the head, threatened him with a pistol after he had fallen to the floor, and while his face was smeared with blood, took him to jail on a charge – which was not well founded - of carrying a pistol without permission.

The evidence of the first assault... clearly indicates a malevolent and unlawful act of a private individual who happened to be an official; not the act of an official... direct responsibility of the United States for this fist assault has not been alleged The question has been raised whether consuls are entitled to a ‘special protection’ for their persons…The government of the consul’s residence should exercise greater vigilance in respect to their security and safety…The recognised public character of the foreigner and the circumstances in which he is present in its territory, entail upon the state a corresponding duty of special vigilance on his behalf It is essential to note that both governments consider Franco´s acts as the acts of an official on duty