Washington Ayora Rodríguez v. Ecuador, Case 11.443, Report No. 105/01, OEA/Ser./L/V/II.114 Doc. 5 rev. at 423 (2001).
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 Ayora Rodríguez.
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 Convention.
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 follows:
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
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 damages caused.
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 countrys 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 settlement agreement.
keeping with its consistent practice and obligations under the American Convention,
the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will oversee compliance with
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 instruments.
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 Ayora Rodríguez.
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 Convention.
The Commission values the signing of a friendly settlement agreement
pursuant to both the State and petitioner in the terms of the American Convention.
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
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 settlement agreement.
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 Commissions
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 overall