The family of Shanquella Robinson, a North Carolina tourist who died mysteriously at a Mexican resort, say they are still awaiting word on an arrest in her murder – as experts warn there could be “political” obstacles to extraditing the suspect from the US. .
Mexican authorities two weeks ago issued an arrest warrant for an unidentified suspect in the Oct. 29 death of a 25-year-old woman, who they identified as a “direct assault.”
But since the warrant was issued, Interpol’s so-called red notice still hasn’t been served on the suspect — even though Mexican authorities have requested the man be extradited from the U.S. to face the charges. This was reported by the Charlotte Observer.
An extradition treaty was signed between the two countries in 1978.
According to the publication, the US Department of Justice is investigating the request and it will be sent to the State Department for final approval.
Criminal defense attorney Dmitry Shakhnevich, an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, told the Observer that what happened next was more of a “political issue” than a legal one.
“Often” the US will comply with the extradition request of a treaty country.
“If the US authorities think it’s appropriate, they will go after the people who have been issued arrest warrants,” Shahnevich told the newspaper.
“And then these people go through the federal courts in the U.S. and ultimately participate in a legal process that includes an appeal (of the extradition decision) … to the Secretary of State,” he added.
Before the US government arrests a person wanted in another country, the FBI conducts an investigation to determine whether there is “sufficient cause” to extradite the suspect, the publication reported.
But finding a motive doesn’t mean the bureau will check and double-check Mexico’s criminal investigation.
“But again, the whole point of the treaty is that one country doesn’t question the other, right,” Shakhnevich explained. “The contract means we understand each other’s legal processes, so if we make a decision, we have to stick to that decision.”
The FBI confirmed that the investigation is ongoing, but did not release any details.
Robinson’s death at the posh Fundadores Beach Club in San Jose del Cabo was initially thought to be alcohol poisoning, but the death certificate said he suffered “severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation,” meaning Instability of the yin vertebrae is detected.
A disturbing video later surfaced of Robinson being brutally beaten at a luxury rental villa by one of the women in the group of friends who accompanied him to Mexico.
A State Department spokesman declined to comment to the Observer on whether or not to extradite the suspect.
“Per long-standing practice, the (state) department does not comment on extradition matters,” the department previously told the Observer.
“The department will not confirm or comment on investigations due to privacy and law enforcement concerns,” he said, adding that it would “closely monitor the local authority’s investigation.”
Local news outlet MetropliMx, citing an unnamed source, reported that one person on the trip with Robinson was in the United States.
The Observer said it could find no confirmation that the person rumored to be the suspect had been arrested or taken into custody.
Meanwhile, a rally organized by the Million Youth March of Charlotte and Salisbury is scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Little Rock AME Zion Church in Uptown Charlotte. This was reported by WCNC.
Quilla Long, the sister of the woman killed Wednesday, said what she hoped would happen.
“Everyone is being arrested and doing time there. It will be justice for us,” he told the publication.
“It should never have happened that he left us,” Mario Black, co-founder of the Million Youth March in Charlotte and Salisbury, told WCNC.
“I want everyone to leave with hope, solidarity and love. Love is the key, it conquers everything,” he added.