Ramiro Ibarra, Texas


Updated: Monday, March 1, 2021

Ramiro Rubi Ibarra was scheduled to be executed at 6 pm local time, on Thursday, March 4, 2021, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.  His execution has been stayed. Sixty-six-year-old Ramiro is convicted of murdering 16-year-old Maria De La Paz Zuniga on March 6, 1987, in Waco, Texas. Ramiro has spent the last 23 years on Texas’ death row.

Ramiro was born in Chalchihuites, Zacatecas, Mexico, where he remains a citizen. Ramiro grew up in extreme poverty and suffered from physical and emotion abuse from his father during his childhood. Ramiro did not graduate high school, dropping out after the 9th grade. Prior to his arrest, he worked as construction worker.

On March 6, 1987, Maria Zuniga was baby sitting her two nephews at the family home. Family acquaintance, Ramiro Ibarra attacked Maria, beating her, raping her, and strangling her to death with an electrical cord. Ibarra was arrested the following the day, however, he was eventually released because an improper search warrant had been obtained.

Ibarra was re-arrested in 1996, after Texas laws changed and authorities were able to apply for another search warrant to obtain samples of Ibarra’s har and blood. Ibarra was then re-indicted and later convicted of the crime. He was sentenced to death. During his trial, it was revealed that Ibarra had, on one occasion, sexually abused and threatened to kill his eight-year-old nephew and on other occasions sexually molested his nephew. Ibarra’s sister-in-law testified that there was some indication that Ibarra had abused her son. Additionally, his sometimes lover testified that she had been beaten and sexually assaulted, one a knife point. Ibarra had also threatened to kill her on more than one occasion. Ibarra’s wife testified that he had beaten her several times, including while pregnant, and that he spent hours alone with an 18-year-old girl that they brought to live with them.


Ibarra and his attorneys have argued that he should be spared from execution for several reasons, including mental incompetency. Ibarra’s attorneys have argued that Ibarra has a low IQ, although at least one judge has failed to find the evidence to support this claim convincing. Further, Ibarra’s attorneys have argued that he was improperly denied legal assistance from the Mexican consulate in violation of the Geneva Convention.


The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has issued a stay of execution for Ramiro Ibarra.  The stay was granted over claims that Ramiro is intellectually disabled and that there have been new developments in DNA science. 


Pray for peace and healing for the family of Maria De La Paz Zuniga. Pray for strength for the family of Ramiro. Pray that if Ramiro is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented prior to his execution. Pray that Ramiro may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.



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