On December 19, 1995, Carlos Alberto Juela Molina (hereinafter
“the petitioner”) submitted a petition to the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Commission” or “the
IACHR”) against the Republic of Ecuador (hereinafter “the State”),
in which he alleged violations of the following rights protected by the
American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Convention” or
“the American Convention”): the
right to humane treatment (Article 5) and the right to personal liberty
(Article 7), in breach of the obligations set forth at Article 1(1), to
the detriment of Mr. Juela Molina.
On February 26, 1999, the parties reached a friendly settlement
agreement in this case. This
report contains a brief presentation of the facts and the text of the
agreement, in keeping with Article 49 of the Convention.
On December 21, 1989, when he was 15 years old, the petitioner was
detained at 1:30 p.m. at the intersection of Bahía and Loja streets by
police agent Marco Acosta Iza; the stated reason for the arrest was the
robbery of a pair of eyeglasses. At
that very moment he was brutally beaten by the agent, who kicked him in
the stomach, causing him to vomit blood.
The petitioner stated that the witnesses present appealed to the
agent to stop.
Later, the petitioner was taken by the agent to the offices of
police investigation, at that time known as the Criminal Investigation
Service of Pichincha (Servicio de Investigación Criminal de Pichincha:
SIC-P), where he was locked in a cell, and where he was beaten and kicked
As he was in great pain and was vomiting, he was taken to the
Hospital Eugenio Espejo, where he underwent emergency surgery, as the
physicians found his duodenum was perforated and had lesions.
After the forensic examination was performed that determined that
the petitioner would be physically incapacitated for 30 to 60 days,
criminal proceedings were instituted against agent Acosta Iza in the
Eighth Criminal Court of Pichincha; nonetheless, the judge disqualified
himself from the case, and removed the case to the Second Court of the
First District of the National Police.
The trial began on April 2, 1990.
In the trial first instance court it was ordered that police agent
Acosta Iza be arrested, but he was released on bond.
When the agent failed to appear in court as required, the judge
executed the bond and ordered the arrest of the accused, for trial.
On April 9, 1992, he was ordered discharged from the police on
grounds of professional misconduct.
Given the lack of cooperation of the police agents in making the
arrest, he was not arrested until 1995.
Immediately the accused filed a motion to bar the action on grounds
that the statute of limitations had run.
This request was granted, on appeal, by the First District Court of
the National Police, and the case was archived, which exhausted domestic
remedies, as the State has acknowledged.
The lack of diligence in processing the case on a timely basis and
the non-existence, in the domestic jurisdiction, of a legal mechanism for
seeking to punish the person responsible kept the petitioner from
receiving compensation for the damages arbitrarily imposed on him by the
police agent who was accused.
PROCESSING BEFORE THE COMMISSION
On January 18, 1996, the Commission received the complaint in this
case, and on March 1, 1996, it began its processing, proceeding in
conformity with the Commission’s Regulations.
The Ecuadorian State, in its response of July 21, 1998, accepted
its responsibility. That
response was transmitted to the petitioner on September 2, 1998, when the
IACHR proposed to begin to pursue a friendly settlement. On October 12,
1998, the petitioner also noted his willingness to pursue a friendly
settlement. On February 25, 1999, the State informed the Commission that
the agreement had been signed, and attached the document.
THE FRIENDLY SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
The Friendly Settlement Agreement signed by the parties reads as
Ecuadorian State, through the Office of the Attorney General, with a view
to promoting and protecting human rights and given the great importance of
the full observance of human rights at this time for the international
image of our country, as the foundation of a just, dignified, democratic,
and representative society, has decided to take a new course in the
evolution of human rights in Ecuador.
Office of the Attorney General has initiated conversations with all
persons who have been victims of human rights violations, aimed at
reaching friendly settlement agreements to provide reparations for the
Ecuadorian State, in strict compliance with the obligations it acquired
upon signing the American Convention on Human Rights and other
international human rights law instruments, is aware that any violation of
an international obligation that has caused damages triggers the duty to
make adequate reparations--monetary reparations and criminal punishment of
the perpetrators being the most just and equitable form. Therefore the
Office of the Attorney General and Mr. Carlos Alberto Juela Molina, each
of their own right, have reached a friendly settlement, pursuant to the
provisions of Articles 48(1)(f) and 49 of the American Convention on Human
Rights and Article 45 of the Regulations of the Inter-American Commission
on Human Rights.
following persons were present at the signing of this Friendly Settlement
Dr. Ramón Jiménez Carbo, Attorney General of the State, as
indicated in his appointment and certificate of office, which are attached
as qualifying documents;
Mr. Carlos Alberto Juela Molina, on his own behalf, as appears from
the copy of citizenship document number 171171521-7; a copy of that
document is also attached as a qualifying document.
STATE RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCEPTANCE
Ecuadorian State acknowledges its international responsibility for having
violated the human rights of Mr. Carlos Alberto Juela Molina enshrined in
Article 5(2) of the American Convention on Human Rights and other
international instruments, considering that Mr. Carlos Alberto Juela
Molina was arbitrarily detained and tortured, and that the violations were
committed by State agents, which could not be disproved by the State,
giving rise to State responsibility.
the above, the Ecuadorian State accepts the facts in case No. 11.584
before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and undertakes the
necessary reparative steps to compensate the victims, or their successors,
for the damages caused by those violations.
view of the foregoing, the Ecuadorian State, through the Attorney General,
as the sole judicial representative of the Ecuadorian State, pursuant to
Article 215 of the Constitution of Ecuador, enacted in Official Register
No. 1 and in force since August 11, 1998, is awarding Mr. Carlos Alberto
Juela Molina a one-time compensatory payment in the amount of fifteen
thousand US dollars (US$ 15,000) or the equivalent in local currency,
calculated at the exchange rate in effect at the time the payment is made,
to be paid from the National Budget.
compensation covers the consequential damages, loss of income, and moral
damages suffered by Mr. Carlos Alberto Juela Molina, as well as any other
claims that Carlos Alberto Juela Molina or his family members may have,
regarding the subject of this agreement, under domestic and international
law, and is chargeable to the National Budget. To this end, the Office of
the Attorney General will notify the Ministry of Finance, for it to carry
out this obligation within 90 days of the signing of this document.
PUNISHMENT OF THE PERSONS RESPONSIBLE
Ecuadorian State pledges to bring civil and criminal proceedings and
pursue administrative sanctions against those persons who are alleged to
have participated in the violation in the performance of State functions
or under the color of public authority.
Office of the Attorney General pledges to encourage the State Attorney
General, the competent judicial organs, and public agencies or private
institutions to contribute legal evidence to determine the liability of
those persons. If admissible, the prosecution will be subject to the
constitution and laws of the Ecuadorian State; and therefore, it will not
proceed against the persons who have been object of final judgment by the
national courts, in relation to the alleged violations.
RIGHT TO SEEK INDEMNITY
Ecuadorian State reserves the right to seek indemnity, pursuant to Article
22 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador, from those persons
found responsible for human rights violations through a final and firm
judgment handed down by the country’s courts or when administrative
liability is found, in keeping with Article 8 of the American Convention
on Human Rights.
TAX EXEMPTION AND DELAY IN COMPLIANCE
payment made by the Ecuadorian State to the other party to this agreement
is not subject to any current or future taxes, except for the 1% tax on
the event that the State is delinquent for over three months from the date
the agreement is signed, it must pay interest on the amount owed,
corresponding to the current bank rate of the three largest banks in
Ecuador for the duration of its delinquency.
Ecuadorian State, through the Office of the Attorney General, agrees to
report every three months to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
on compliance with the obligations assumed by the State in this friendly
keeping with its consistent practice and obligations under the American
Convention, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will oversee
compliance with this agreement.
compensatory damages that the Ecuadorian State is awarding to Mr. Carlos
Alberto Juela Molina are provided for in Articles 22 and 24 of the
Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador, for violation of the
Constitution, other national laws, and the norms in the American
Convention on Human Rights and other international human rights
friendly settlement is entered into based on respect for the human rights
enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights and other
international human rights instruments and on the policy of the Government
of Ecuador to respect and protect human rights.
NOTIFICATION AND CONFIRMATION
Carlos Alberto Juela Molina specifically authorizes the Attorney General
to notify the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of this Friendly
Settlement Agreement, so that the Commission may confirm and ratify it in
parties to this agreement freely and voluntarily express their conformity
with and their acceptance of the content of the preceding clauses and
state for the record that they hereby end the dispute before the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the international
responsibility of the State for violating the rights of Mr. Carlos Alberto
DETERMINATION OF COMPATIBILITY AND COMPLIANCE
The Commission determined that the settlement agreement is
compatible with the provisions of Article 48(1)(f) of the American
On September 27, 1999, CEDHU informed the Commission that on the
very day seven months after the signing of the agreement between the
petitioner and the State, the State proceeded to make payment of the
compensation agreed upon.
According to the petitioner, the State has not taken any initiative
to punish the persons responsible, since the action was declared
prescribed by the Second Court (Segundo Juzgado) of the First
Police District, which had the State accede to the demand put forth before
The Commission reiterates its recognition of the Ecuadorian State
for its decision to settle the case through reparative measures, including
those needed to punish the persons responsible for the violation alleged.
The IACHR also reiterates its recognition of the petitioner for
accepting the terms of the agreement in question.
The IACHR will continue monitoring compliance with the commitment
assumed by Ecuador to bring to trial the persons considered responsible
for the facts alleged, which to date has not been done.
The IACHR ratifies that the possibility of friendly settlement
provided for in the American Convention makes it possible to conclude
individual cases in a non-contentious manner, and has proven, in cases
from several countries, to offer an important vehicle for resolving
violations alleged, which may be used by both parties (petitioner and the
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
To recognize that the State has made payment of US$ 15,000 as
compensation, and that it has failed to carry out its commitment to punish
the persons responsible for the violation alleged.
To urge the State to take the measures needed to comply with the
pending commitments to punish the persons responsible for the violation
To continue to monitor and supervise compliance with each and every
point of the friendly settlement agreement, and in this context to remind
the State, through the Office of the Attorney General, of its commitment
to report to the IACHR every three months regarding performance of the
obligations assumed by the State under this friendly settlement agreement.
To make this report public and to include it in its Annual Report
to the OAS General Assembly.
Done and signed at the headquarters of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in the city of Washington, D.C., October 5, 2000. (Signed) Hélio Bicudo, Chairman; Claudio Grossman, First Vice-Chairman; Juan Méndez, Second Vice-Chairman; Commissioners: Marta Altolaguirre, Robert K. Goldman, and Peter Laurie.