Mexico's Deputy Secretary for Foreign Relations Carlos Rico condemned the decision and said Mexican officials had lobbied hard against it.
"This is a message of impunity," Rico said at a news conference. "It's difficult to understand."
Its not hard to understand it was unjust! That is putting it mildly! We wish Officers Ramos, Compeano and their families a early WELCOME HOME. We have a lot of work still at hand. God Bless You and yours.
The border agents' case became a rallying cause for conservatives concerned about border protection. On talk shows, people sympathetic with the agents argued that the men were just doing their jobs, defending the U.S.-Mexico border against criminals.
WASHINGTON – In his final acts of clemency, President George W. Bush on Monday granted early prison releases to two former U.S. Border Patrol agents whose convictions for shooting a Mexican drug dealer fueled the national debate over illegal immigration.
Compean, 32, and Ramos, 39, were sentenced to 12 years and 11 years in prison, respectively. They each have served about two years. Under the terms of Bush's commutation, their prison sentences will expire on March 20, but their three-year terms of supervised release and the fines will remain intact.
Bush, responding to heavy pressure from Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike, commuted the prison sentences of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.Compean and Ramos were convicted of shooting admitted drug smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete Davila in the buttocks as he fled across the Rio Grande, away from an abandoned van load of marijuana. He remains in a low-security prison in Fort Worth, Texas.