REPORT Nº 105/01*
On November 8, 1994, the Comisión Ecuménica de Derechos
Humanos (“CEDHU”) (hereinafter “the petitioner”) presented 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 it alleged the violation of the
following rights protected by the American Convention on Human Rights
(hereinafter “the Convention” or “the American Convention): the
right to life (Article 4), the right to humane treatment (Article 5), the
right to personal liberty (Article 7), the right to a fair trial (Article
8), and the right to judicial protection (Article 25), in violation of the
obligations imposed by Article 1(1), to the detriment of Mr. Washington
The parties reached a friendly settlement in this case on August
15, 2001. This report contains a brief presentation of the facts and the
text of the settlement agreement, in keeping with Article 49 of the
Washington Ayora was convicted in 1989, by court judgment, for the
crime of robbery (hurto).
Since then, Washington Ayora had felt besieged by the National
Police, who on several occasions had detained him under the pretext that
he was “under investigation,” which led him to experience a constant
state of insecurity and fear. On
February 14, 1994, at 4:30 p.m., Washington Ayora was at the Ciudadela
del Maestro in the city of Loja when he was detained by police agents,
who told him that they had an arrest warrant [which they never showed him]
and they took him to the police jail, where he was held incommunicado
until February 18, when he was transferred to the Loja Social
Rehabilitation Center to be investigated.
He was tortured while held in the police jail; this was shown by
the medical certificate and the report of the medical exam performed.
On February 21, 1994, the First National Commissar for the District
of Loja issued the order instructing that Washington Ayora be released,
considering that there were insufficient grounds to keep him in detention.
The criminal proceeding conducted by the Fourth Criminal Court of
Loja into the detention and injuries caused when he was investigated by
the agent from the Office of Criminal Investigation (OID) came to naught,
as the police are subject to special police jurisdiction, in keeping with
Article 55 of the Criminal Code. In
addition, there was a report from the National Bureau of Investigations (Dirección
Nacional de Investigaciones) of the National Police that stated that
the agents who detained Washington Ayora were Second Corporal Medardo
Vargas and Jesús Riofrío, and that the agents responsible for the
torture were, according to the complaint, Telmo Robles and José Rivera.
PROCESSING BEFORE THE COMMISSION
On March 13, 1995, the Commission sent the respective notes to the
State and the petitioner. On
August 3, 1995, the Government of Ecuador submitted its answer to the
complaint. The steps set out
in the Rules of Procedure were followed.
On February 9, 1999, the Commission made itself available to the
parties to reach a friendly settlement.
On October 19, 1999, the petitioner accepted the possibility of
reaching a friendly settlement agreement, which was signed on August 15,
2001, with the presence of Commissioner Marta Altolaguirre, a member of
the IACHR and Rapporteur for Ecuador, who had traveled to Quito to
facilitate the agreement. The
parties asked the Commission to ratify this friendly settlement agreement
in all its terms and to supervise its implementation.
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 Mrs. Merci Rosalía Vásquez Trujillo,
widow of Mr. Washington Ayora Rodríguez, and Eusebia Imelda Rodríguez
Bosa, mother of Mr. Washington Ayora Rodríguez (deceased), 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 41 of the Rules
of Procedure of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
following persons were present at the signing of this friendly settlement
For the first party, Dr. Ramón Jiménez Carbo, Attorney General of
the State, as indicated in his appointment and certificate of office,
which are attached as qualifying documents;
For the second party Mrs. Eusebia Imelda Rodríguez Bosa, with
citizen identification number 1100133923, mother of Mr. Washington Ayora
Rodríguez, and in representation of Mrs. Merci Rosalía Vásquez
Trujillo, widow of Mr. Washington Ayora Rodríguez, by special
power-of-attorney executed in the Consulate of Ecuador in Spain, which are
attached hereto as qualifying documents.
STATE RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCEPTANCE
Ecuadorian State acknowledges its international responsibility for having
violated the human rights of Mr. Washington Ayora Rodríguez, recognized
in Article 4 (right to life), Article 8 (right to a fair trial), Article 5
(right to humane treatment), Article 7 (right to personal liberty), and
Article 25 (right to judicial protection), in relation to the general
obligation contained in Article 1(1) of the American Convention on Human
Rights and other international instruments, considering 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 11.443
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 Mrs. Eusebia Imelda
Rodríguez Bosa, with citizen identification number 1100133923, mother of
Mr. Washington Ayora Rodríguez, deceased, and representative of Mrs.
Merci Rosalía Vásquez Trujillo, widow of Mr. Washington Ayora Rodríguez,
a one-time compensatory payment in the amount of thirty thousand US
dollars (US$ 30,000), to be paid from the National Budget.
compensation covers the consequential damages, loss of income, and moral
damages suffered by Mr. Washington Ayora Rodríguez, as well as any other
claims that Mrs. Merci Rosalía Vásquez Trujillo and Mrs. Eusebia Imelda
Rodríguez Bosa, widow and mother of Mr. Washington Ayora Rodríguez, or
their 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 Economy and Finance, for it to carry out this obligation.
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.
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.
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.
Washington Ayora Rodríguez 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 standards 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
Eusebia Imelda Rodríguez and Mrs. Merci Rosalía Vásquez Trujillo,
mother and widow of Mr. Washington Ayora Rodríguez (deceased),
specifically authorize 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 its entirety.
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. Washington
DETERMINATION OF COMPATIBILITY AND COMPLIANCE
The Commission determined that the settlement agreement transcribed
is compatible with the terms of Article 48(1)(f) of the American
The Commission values the signing of a friendly settlement
agreement pursuant to both the State and petitioner in the terms of the
IACHR will continue to monitor the commitment assumed by Ecuador regarding
the proceedings to be brought against the persons implicated in the facts
IACHR ratifies that the option of friendly settlement offered in the
American Convention allows for the termination of individual cases in a
non-contentious manner, and that it has proven, in several countries, to
be an important procedure for resolving alleged human rights violations
that can be used by both parties (petitioner and State).
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
To certify compliance by the State with the payment of US$ 30,000
to the petitioner in this case, as compensation.
To remind the State that it should fully implement the friendly
settlement by beginning judicial proceedings against the persons
implicated in the violations alleged.
To continue to monitor and supervise the implementation of 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, on the
implementation of the obligations assumed by the State under this friendly
To make public this report and 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 11, 2001. (Signed): Claudio Grossman, President; Juan E. Méndez, First Vice President; Marta Altolaguirre, Second Vice-President; Commissioners Hélio Bicudo, Robert K. Goldman, and Peter Laurie.
Julio Prado Vallejo, of Ecuadorian nationality, did not participate in
the discussion of this case, in keeping with Article 17 of the
Commission’s Rules of Procedure.
The medical report indicated: “... on February 21, 1994, by
physicians appointed by the Fourth Criminal Court of Loja: Washington
Ayora presented a left parietal hematoma 8 cm in diameter painful to
the touch; left posterior hemithoracic ecchymosis 6 cm in diameter,
purple; ventral ecchymosis 10 cm painful to the touch; four
excoriations on the left shoulder, from 2 cm to 9 cm in diameter;
right gluteal violet ecchymosis 7 cm in diameter; hematoma in the
middle third ventral face of the right thigh, 12 cm in diameter
painful to the touch; five excoriations on the knee and upper third of
the left leg from 3 cm to 7 cm in diameter.
The physicians’ conclusions: given the appearance, form, and
color of the lesions, one gets the impression that hematomas and
ecchymosis were been inflicted one to three days earlier, by the
traumatic action of a hard and blunt instrument; and the excoriations
by rubbing the skin against a hard and coarse surface.
Presumably, before being inflicted, the person was in good