Legal Memorandum: Extradition Treaties for White-Collar Crimes

Issue: What white-collar crimes are subject to extradition treaties between the United States and Mexico?

Area of Law: Criminal Law, International Law & Global Trade
Keywords: Extradition treaties; White-collar crimes; US and Mexico
Jurisdiction: Federal, International
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Extradition Treaty, U.S.-Mexico, art. 1, cl. 1, May 4, 1978, 31 U.S.T. 5059
Date: 10/01/2007

The U.S.-Mexico Extradition Treaty was signed by President Carter in Mexico City on May 4, 1978.  Following ratification, the treaty was entered into force on January 25, 1980.  Under the treaty (as applied to the fact scenario presented), any person who has been charged with an offense or who has been found guilty of committing an offense by U.S. authorities is generally subject to extradition to the United States.  Extradition Treaty, U.S.-Mexico, art. 1, cl. 1, May 4, 1978, 31 U.S.T. 5059.  Upon a request for extradition, Mexican authorities are obligated to extradite the subject individual if:

a)                  its laws would provide for the punishment of such an offense committed in similar circumstances, or

b)                  the person sought is a national of the [United States], and the [U.S.] has jurisdiction under its own laws to try that person.

Id., art. 1, cl. 2.  Neither government, however, shall be required to extradite its own nationals.  Id., art. 9, cl. 1. 

Not all crimes, however, are extraditable offenses under the Treaty.  Rather, extradition is compelled only for certain enumerated “wilful acts” that are punishable under both U.S. and Mexican law by a maximum prison sentence of more than one year.  Id. art. 2, cl. 1.  If extradition is sought to enable the U.S. to carry out the execution of a sentence, the remaining sentence must not be less than six months.  Id. art. 2, cl. 2.  The Treaty […]

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