Angel Reiniero Vega Jiménez v. Ecuador, Case 11.542, Report No. 107/01, OEA/Ser./L/V/II.114 Doc. 5 rev. at 434 (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 that appear at Article 1(1),
to the detriment of Mr. Angel Reiniero Vega.
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 (burns)....
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 Commissions 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
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.
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
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 documents.
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
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. 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 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
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 Vega Jiménez.
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 American Convention.
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.
Prado Vallejo, of Ecuadorian nationality, did not participate in the discussion
of this case, in keeping with Article 17 of the Commissions Rules
INTERPOL is the International Criminal Police Organization.