REINIERO VEGA JIMÉNEZ
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 that appear at Article 1(1), to the detriment of Mr. Angel
The parties reached a friendly settlement agreement in this case on
August 15, 2001. This report
contains a brief presentation of the facts and the text of the agreement
reached, in keeping with Article 49 of the Convention.
On May 5, 1994, INTERPOL agents
in Loja forcibly entered the home of Angel Vega, and, without any arrest
warrant, entered the house breaking down doors, and beating him as he was
taken from his room to the yard, where he was taken, kicking him, under
accusations of drug trafficking. According
to the complaint, Angel Vega was a drug user, which was known by the
INTERPOL agents who blackmailed him, asking him for money.
They detained him and later took him to the Hospital Isidro Ayora,
where he died. According to
the complaint, the autopsy confirmed that the death was probably caused by
asphyxiation from suffocation; the possibility of a toxic cause of death
was not ruled out. In
addition, the autopsy indicates that the body had a series of hematomas,
ecchymoses, and excoriations, as a result of the blows he received.
The following persons witnessed what happened: César Cruz, Luis
Sarango, Luis Romeo, and Marta Maita.
A complaint was lodged with the First Criminal Judge of Loja, to
have the facts investigated, in which it was stated, in addition to the
foregoing, that María Alicia Cruz witnessed Angel Vega bleeding at the
forehead and nose, due to the blows by the agents the day of the events.
It was also stated that on that day Luis Alfonso Cruz was detained
by the same agents, who confused him with a drug dealer, and that said
Luis Alfonso Cruz led the agents to the place where Angel Vega lived.
In the conclusions of the autopsy performed on the corpse of Angel
Vega, it states: “... one
cannot discard the toxic origin of the death (acute intoxication), due to
the anoxic signs found and the gastric material.
With the toxicological result a definitive diagnosis will be
determined, as it is very possible that narcotic or psychotropic
substances were ingested. The
external lesions (ecchymoses, excoriations, and hematomas) indicate
violence carried out moments or hours before death, and provoked by the
traumatic action of a hard and blunt object (hematomas and ecchymoses),
and by friction against the skin of a hard and coarse surface
(excoriations). Some small
lesions indicate that they have been caused by the action of heat
PROCESSING BEFORE THE COMMISSION
On February 13, 1995, the Commission sent the respective notes to
the State and petitioner. On
September 19, 1995, the Government of Ecuador presented its answer to the
complaint. The steps provided
for in the Commission’s Rules of Procedure were followed.
On April 2, 2001, the Commission received a communication from the
Government of Ecuador containing a list of cases for pursuing friendly
settlement, including this one. The
friendly settlement agreement was signed on August 15, 2001, with 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 its
entirety and supervise its implementation.
FRIENDLY SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
The friendly settlement agreement signed by the parties indicates:
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. Rosario del Carmen Jiménez Peña,
mother of Mr. Angel Reiniero Vega Jiménez (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. Rosario del Carmen Jiménez Peña, with
citizen identification number 190009668-4, mother of Mr. Angel Reiniero
Vega Jiménez (deceased), which is attached hereto as qualifying
STATE RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCEPTANCE
Ecuadorian State acknowledges its international responsibility for having
violated the human rights of Mr. Angel Reiniero Vega Jiménez, recognized
in Article 4 (right to life), Article 8 (right to a fait 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 11.542
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. Rosario del
Carmen Jiménez Peña, with citizen identification number 190009668-4,
mother of Mr. Angel Reiniero Vega Jiménez (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. Angel Reiniero Vega Jiménez, as well as any other
claims that Mrs. Rosario del Carmen Jiménez Peña and Miguel Vega Jiménez,
the parents of Mr. Angel Reiniero Vega Jiménez, 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. Angel
Reiniero Vega Jiménez 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
Rosario del Carmen Jiménez Peña 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 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. Angel Reiniero
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
The Commission values the signing of a friendly settlement
agreement in the terms of the American Convention, on which the State and
petitioner reached agreement.
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.