Long Arm of the Law

A decision to uphold an international kidnapping alarms Latin America

The U.S. high court reached across American borders last week and tweaked a neighbor's nose. In a 6-to-3 opinion, Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote that a "forcible abduction" from a foreign country -- in this case, Mexico -- does not prohibit a defendant's trial in the U.S. "for violation of this country's criminal laws."

The case involved Dr. Humberto Alvarez-Machain, a gynecologist who two years ago was dragged from his Guadalajara office by Mexican bounty hunters, flown to El Paso and handed over to agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Alvarez-Machain still awaits trial in Los Angeles on federal charges...

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