REPORT Nº 106/01*
VINICIO ALMEIDA CALISPA
On November 8, 1994, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
(hereinafter “the Commission” or “the IACHR”) received a complaint
alleging the violation of rights protected in the American Convention on
Human Rights (hereinafter “the American Convention”) by the Republic
of Ecuador (hereinafter “the State” or “Ecuador”) to the detriment
of Mr. Marco Vinicio Almeida Calispa, deceased, represented by the Comisión
Ecuménica de Derechos Humanos (“CEDHU,” hereinafter “the
petitioner”). It alleges
the violation of Article 4 (right to life), Article 5 (right to humane
treatment), and Article 8 (right to a fair trial), all in relation to
Article 1(1) of the American Convention.
The petitioner reports that on May 31, 1988, Mr. Almeida was
detained by the police in the city of Quito, under suspicion of robbery. The petitioner alleges that the Ecuadorian police, during the
interrogations performed at the Criminal Investigations Service of
Pichincha, used inhumane and illegal investigative procedures that caused
the death of Mr. Almeida. The
petitioner also states that the Ecuadorian judicial system was negligent
when it took up the case, making procedural errors that culminated in the
acquittal of the accused. The
State denies that Mr. Almeida’s death was due to the action of the
On February 22, 2001, the Commission declared this petition
The parties reached a friendly settlement agreement in this case on
August 15, 2001. This report
contains a brief statement of the facts and the text of the agreement, in
keeping with Article 49 of the Convention.
On February 2, 1988, during the police interrogation sessions at
Marco Almeida died of asphyxia. Lt.
Juan Sosa Mosquera and detectives Víctor and Manuel Soto Betancourt were
accused of being responsible for the custody of Marco Almeida when he
died. The First Criminal
Court of Pichincha began the respective criminal proceeding; the judge
ordered that the agents be arrested.
Nonetheless, that order was not carried out.
On September 14, 1988, the inquiry began at the First District
Court of the Police, blocking the judge from the regular criminal courts
from assuming jurisdiction, because the police jurisdiction was applied to
the accused. Later, the case went before the Supreme Court, where it was
at a standstill for two years. It was not until February 10, 1992, that
the Court resolved the jurisdictional conflict in favor of the First Judge
of the First Police District. In the context of the investigative proceeding, in August
1993, an indictment was handed down, along with the reasoned order against
police agents Víctor Abraham Soto Betancourt and Manuel Benigno Soto
Betancourt. Nonetheless, as of 1994, six years after the proceedings were
initiated, there was still no verdict.
PROCESSING BEFORE THE COMMISSION
On November 8, 1995, a complaint was lodged before the Commission.
On March 27, 1996, the Government of Ecuador was sent the pertinent
parts of the complaint regarding Marco Vinicio Almeida.
Once again, on July 10, 1996, the Government was asked to provide
information on the facts alleged in the complaint within 30 days.
On August 3, 1995, the State answered that it did not have the
information required to issue a response in this case.
The IACHR reiterated the request for information to the State on
August 11, 1995. On September 18, 1995, the State provided its first
answer. The procedure
continued as information and observations went back and forth between the
On May 7, 1999, the Commission placed itself at the parties’
disposal to reach a friendly settlement.
On May 11, 1999, the petitioner accepted the possibility of
reaching a friendly settlement, which was signed on August 15, 2001, in
the presence of Commissioner Marta Altolaguirre, 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. Sonia del Rosario Arauz Olmedo and
Mr. Jaime Andrés Almeida Arauz, widow and son of Mr. Marco Vinicio
Almeida Calispa (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 Mr. Segundo José Arauz Maldonado, with
citizen identification number 170034937-4, father and grandfather of Mrs.
Sonia del Rosario Arauz Olmedo and Mr. Jaime Andrés Almeida Arauz,
respectively, and father-in-law of Mr. Marco Vinicio Almeida Calispa,
deceased, as appears from the record.
STATE RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCEPTANCE
Ecuadorian State acknowledges its international responsibility for having
violated the human rights of Mr. Marco Vinicio Almeida Calispa, 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 11.450
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. Segundo José
Arauz Maldonado, with citizen identification number 170034937-4,
father-in-law of Mr. Marco Vinicio Almeida Calispa, deceased, in
representation of Mrs. Sonia del Rosario Arauz Olmedo and Mr. Jaime Andrés
Almeida Arauz, widow and son of Mr. Marco Vinicio Almeida Calispa,
deceased, 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. Marco Vinicio Almeida Calispa, as well as any
other claims that Mr. Segundo José Arauz Maldonado, Mrs. Sonia del
Rosario Arauz Olmedo, or Mr. Jaime Andrés Almeida Arauz, father-in-law,
widow, and son of Mr. Marco Vinicio Almeida Calispa, 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. Marco
Vinicio Almeida Calispa 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
Segundo José Arauz Maldonado, Mrs. Sonia del Rosario Arauz Olmedo, and
Mr. Jaime Andrés Almeida Arauz, father-in-law, widow, and son of Mr.
Marco Vinicio Almeida Calispa (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. Marco Vinicio
DETERMINATION OF COMPATIBILITY AND COMPLIANCE
The Commission determined that the foregoing friendly settlement
agreement is compatible with the provisions of Article 48(1)(f) of the
Commission values the signing of a friendly settlement agreement in the
terms of the American Convention, on which the State and petitioner
IACHR will continue to monitor compliance with the commitment assumed by
Ecuador regarding the proceedings to be brought against the persons
implicated in the events alleged.
IACHR ratifies that the option of friendly settlement provided for in the
American Convention makes it possible to terminate individual cases in a
non-contentious manner, and has proven, in cases regarding several
countries, to be an important procedure for resolving alleged 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 must fully implement the friendly
settlement agreement, bringing judicial proceedings against the persons
implicated in the violations alleged.
To continue to monitor and supervise compliance with each and every
one of the points 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 compliance
with the obligations assumed by the State under this friendly settlement.
To make this report public 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.
SIC-P: Criminal Investigation Service of Pichincha.