Treaty Series No. 675
Treaty and Additional Article between the United States of America and Venezuela, Signed at Caracas, January 19 and 21, 1922 12
The United States of America and the United States of Venezuela, desiring to strengthen their reciprocal relations, to facilitate the course of punitive justice and to limit the crimes which may be committed in their respective territories; to prevent the impunity which would result from the escape of guilty persons and of their asylum in the territory of one or the other nation, have resolved to conclude a Treaty for the extradition of the accused as well as of those who have been sentenced, and have appointed for that purpose the following Plenipotentiaries:
- The President of the United States of America, John Campbell White, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the United States of America to Venezuela, and
- The Provisional President of the United States of Venezuela, Doctor Pedro Itriago Chacín, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United States of Venezuela;
Who, after having exchanged their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon the following Articles:
The Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United States of Venezuela agree to deliver up to justice, by means of requisition duly made as herein provided, any person who may be charged with or may have been convicted of any of the crimes committed within the jurisdiction of one of the Contracting Parties and specified in Article II of this Convention, while said person was actually within such jurisdiction when the crime was committed, and who shall seek an asylum or who shall be found within the territories of the other. Such surrender shall take place only upon such evidence of guilt as, according to the laws of the country in which the fugitive or accused shall be found, would justify his detention and commitment for trial if the crime or offense had been committed there.
In accordance with the provisions of this Convention, the persons shall be delivered who shall have been charged with or convicted of any of the following crimes: [Page 996]
- Murder, comprehending the crimes designated by the terms of parricide, assassination, manslaughter, when voluntary; poisoning or infanticide.
- The attempt to commit murder.
- Rape, abortion, carnal knowledge of children under the age of twelve years.
- Willful and unlawful destruction or obstruction of railroads, which endangers human life.
- Crimes committed at sea:
- Piracy, as commonly known and defined by the law of nations, or by statute;
- Wrongfully sinking or destroying a vessel at sea or attempting to do so.
- Mutiny or conspiracy by two or more members of the crew or other persons on board of a vessel on the high seas, for the purpose of rebelling against the authority of the captain or commander of such vessel or by fraud or violence taking possession of such vessel;
- Assault on board ships upon the high seas with intent to do bodily harm.
- Burglary, defined to be the act of breaking into and entering the house of another in the night time with intent to commit a felony therein.
- The act of breaking into and entering into the offices of the Government and public authorities, or the offices of banks, banking houses, saving banks, trust companies, insurance companies, or other buildings not dwellings with intent to commit a felony therein.
- Robbery, defined to be the act of feloniously and forcibly taking from the person of another, goods or money by violence or by putting him in fear.
- Forgery or the utterance of forged papers, or illegal sale of documents belonging to the national archives.
- The forgery or falsification of the official acts of the Government or public authority, including courts of justice, or the uttering or fraudulent use of the same.
- The fabrication of counterfeit money, whether coin or paper, counterfeit titles or coupons of public debt, created by national, state, provincial, territorial, local or municipal governments, banknotes or other instruments of public credit, counterfeit seals, stamps, dies and marks of state or public administrations, and the utterance, circulation, or fraudulent use of the above mentioned objects.
- Embezzlement or criminal malversation committed within the jurisdiction of one of the parties by public officers or depositaries, [Page 997] where the amount embezzled exceeds 200 dollars in the United States of America or B. 1.000 in the United States of Venezuela.
- Embezzlement by any person or persons hired, salaried or employed, to the detriment of their employers or principals, when the crime or offense is punishable by imprisonment or other corporal punishment by the laws of both countries, and where the amount embezzled exceeds 200 dollars in the United States of America or B. 1.000 in the United States of Venezuela.
- Kidnapping of minors or adults, defined to be the abduction or detention of a person or persons, in order to exact money from them or their families, or for any other unlawful end.
- Larceny, defined to be the theft of effects, personal property, or money, of the value of 50 dollars or B. 250 or more, accordingly.
- Obtaining money, valuable securities or other property by false pretenses or receiving any money, valuable securities or other property knowing the same to have been unlawfully obtained, where the amount of money or the value of the property so obtained or received exceeds 200 dollars in the United States of America or B 1.000 in the United States of Venezuela.
- Perjury or subornation of perjury.
- Fraud or breach of trust by a bailee, banker, agent, factor, trustee, executor, administrator, guardian, director, or officer of any company or corporation, or by any one in any fiduciary position, where the amount of money or the value of the property misappropriated exceeds 200 dollars in the United States of America or B. 1.000 in the United States of Venezuela.
- The extradition is also to take place for participation in any of the aforesaid crimes as an accessory before or after the fact, provided such participation be punishable by imprisonment by the laws of both Contracting Parties.
The provisions of this Convention shall not import claim of extradition for any crime or offense of a political character, nor for acts connected with such crimes or offenses; and no person surrendered by or to either of the Contracting Parties in virtue of this Convention shall be tried or punished for a political crime or offense. When the offense charged comprises the act either of murder or assassination or of poisoning, either consummated or attempted, the fact that the offense was committed or attempted against the life of the sovereign or head of a foreign state or against the life of any member of his family, shall not be deemed sufficient to sustain that such a crime or offense was of a political character, or was an act connected with crimes or offenses of a political character.[Page 998]
In view of the abolition of capital punishment and of imprisonment for life by Constitutional provision in Venezuela, the Contracting Parties reserve the right to decline to grant extradition for crimes punishable by death and life imprisonment. Nevertheless, the Executive Authority of each of the Contracting Parties shall have the power to grant extradition for such crimes upon the receipt of satisfactory assurances that in case of conviction the death penalty or imprisonment for life will not be inflicted.
A fugitive criminal shall not be surrendered under the provisions hereof, when, from lapse of time or other lawful cause, according to the laws of the country within the jurisdiction of which the crime was committed, the criminal is exempt from prosecution or punishment for the offense for which the surrender is asked.
If a fugitive criminal whose surrender may be claimed pursuant to the stipulations hereof shall be at the time of the request for the extradition under prosecution, either at liberty out on bail or in custody, for any crime or offense committed in the country where he has sought asylum, or shall have been convicted thereof, his extradition may be deferred until such proceedings be determined, and until he shall have been set at liberty in due course of law.
If a fugitive criminal claimed by one of the parties hereto shall be also claimed by one or more powers pursuant to treaty provisions, on account of crimes committed within their jurisdiction, such criminal shall be delivered to that state whose demand is first received.
Under the stipulations of this Convention, neither of the Contracting Parties shall be bound to deliver up its own citizens.
The expense of the arrest, detention, examination, and transportation of the accused shall be paid by the Government which has preferred the demand for extradition.
Everything found in the possession of the fugitive criminal at the time of his arrest, whether being the proceeds of the crime or offense, or which may be material as evidence in making proof of the crime, [Page 999] shall, so far as practicable according to the laws of either of the Contracting Parties be delivered up with his person at the time of the surrender. Nevertheless, the rights of a third party with regard to the articles aforesaid shall be duly respected.
The stipulations of this Convention shall be applicable to all territories wherever situated, belonging to either of the Contracting Parties or under the jurisdiction or control of either of them.
Applications for the surrender of fugitives shall be made by the respective diplomatic agents of the Contracting Parties. In case of the absence of such agents from the country or its seat of government, or where extradition is sought from territory included in the preceding paragraph other than the United States, application may be made by superior consular officers.
It shall be competent for such diplomatic or superior Consular officers to ask and obtain the preliminary arrest of the person whose surrender is requested, before the Government of whom such request is made. The judicial functionaries shall prescribe the method of complying with the legal formalities of the country of which the extradition is requested.
If the fugitive criminal shall have been convicted of the crime for which his surrender is asked, a copy of the sentence of the court before which such conviction took place, duly authenticated, shall be produced. If, however, the fugitive is merely charged with crime, a duly authenticated copy of the warrant of arrest in the country where the crime was committed, and of the depositions upon which such warrant may have been issued, shall be produced, with such other evidence or proof as may be deemed competent in the case.
If when a person accused shall have been arrested in virtue of the mandate or preliminary warrant of arrest, issued by the competent authority as provided in Article XI hereof, and been brought before a judge or a magistrate to the end that the evidence of his or her guilt may be heard and examined as hereinbefore provided, it shall appear that the mandate or preliminary warrant of arrest has been issued in pursuance of a request or declaration received by telegraph from the Government asking for the extradition, it shall be competent to hold the accused for a period not exceeding two months, so that the demanding Government may have opportunity to lay before such judge or magistrate legal evidence of the guilt of the accused, and if at the expiration of said period of two months such legal evidence shall not have been produced before such judge or magistrate, the person arrested shall be released, provided [Page 1000] that the examination of the charges preferred against such accused person shall not be actually going on.
In every case of a request made by either of the two Contracting Parties for the arrest, detention or extradition of fugitive criminals, the legal officers or fiscal ministry of the country where the proceedings of extradition are had, shall assist the officers of the Government demanding the extradition before the respective judges and magistrates, by every legal means within their or its power; and no claim whatsoever for compensation for any of the services so rendered shall be made against the Government demanding the extradition, provided, however, that any officer or officers of the surrendering Government so giving assistance who shall, in the usual course of their duty, receive no salary or compensation other than specific fees for services performed, shall be entitled to receive from the Government demanding the extradition the customary fees for the acts or services performed by them, in the same manner and to the same amount as though such acts or services had been performed in ordinary criminal proceedings under the laws of the country of which they are officers.
No person shall be tried for any crime or offense other than that for which he was surrendered.
This Convention shall take effect from the day of the exchange of the ratifications thereof; but either Contracting Party may at any time terminate the same on giving to the other six months’ notice of its intention to do so.
The ratifications of the present Convention shall be exchanged at Caracas as soon as possible.
In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the above articles, and have hereunto affixed their seals.
Done in duplicate, in Caracas, this nineteenth day of January one thousand nine hundred and twenty-two.
The undersigned, John Campbell White, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of The United States of America to Venezuela, and Dr. Pedro Itriago Chacín, Minister of Foreign Affairs of The United States of Venezuela, have agreed upon the following Additional Article to the Treaty of Extradition signed by the aforesaid on the nineteenth instant:[Page 1001]
It is agreed that all differences between the Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation or execution of this Treaty shall be decided by arbitration.
In witness whereof they have signed the above Article, and have hereunto affixed their seals.
- In English and Spanish; Spanish text not printed. Ratification advised by the Senate, Jan. 5, 1923; ratified by the President, Feb. 21; ratified by Venezuela, Feb. 15; ratifications exchanged at Caracas, Apr. 14; proclaimed, Jan. 2, 1924.↩