Wilberto Samuel Manzano v. Ecuador, Case 11.574, Report No. 108/01, OEA/Ser./L/V/II.114 Doc. 5 rev. at 439 (2001).
REPORT No. 108/01*
WILBERTO SAMUEL MANZANO
October 11, 2001
On November 10, 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 a 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), right
to a fair trial (Article 8), and the right to judicial protection (Article
25), in violation of the obligations that appear in Article 1(1), to the detriment
of Mr. Wilberto Samuel Manzano.
The parties arrived at 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,
in keeping with Article 49 of the Convention.
On May 11, 1991, in the Recinto Almorzadero of the Rosa Zárate Parish
of the Quinidé District, province of Esmeraldas, Wilberto Samuel Manzano was
wounded by gunshot when he was at a volleyball court, participating in a community
meeting. It is presumed that
those who fired the shots were police in civilian dress, and they arrested
him without a showing of a judicial warrant.
He was taken to the police station of La Unión and then driven to the
Quinidé Hospital, where he died. According
to the complaint, the autopsy determined that the death was caused by a cardiac
arrest brought on by the wound in the gluteus.
4. His family members and those who saw the corpse verified that there were hematomas on the head and chest, thus it is presumed that Wilberto Samuel Manzano was tortured even after he was wounded. In addition, the police report described Wilberto Samuel Manzano as a dangerous criminal, and it noted that the police had an arrest warrant for him on suspicion of robbery, as a basis for the arrest. It is presumed that the persons responsible for the death of Wilberto Samuel Manzano were Santiago Moreira Atahualpa, Wilson Kléyer Albán Rodríguez, and José Muñoz Quintanilla, all rural police. Proceedings concerning these facts were initiated before the Second Judge of the First District Court of the National Police.
On May 22, 1995, the Second Judge of the First District Court of the
National Police dismissed the charges, with prejudice, against the persons
accused in the death of Wilberto Samuel Manzano.
The dismissal was appealed by the private accuser on May 23; nonetheless,
the District Court of the Police, on September 29, 1995, ratified the dismissal,
putting an end to the legal actions for securing punishment for the homicide
of Wilberto Samuel Manzano. According
to considerations of the petitioner and the prosecutor, the results of the
Police Judge and of the District Court were biased in favor of the police
accused. It is alleged that the
testimony of important witnesses was not taken into account in the proceeding,
and that, to the contrary, the judges tried to justify the police actions
in their rulings.
The petitioner states that in the criminal proceedings it was not shown
that there had been any premeditated intent, on the part of the accused, to
kill Wilberto Manzano. Nonetheless,
he died, and it is conceivable that the authority of the police, set forth
in the criminal legislation, to make use of a firearm, as a means of preventing
the accused from fleeing, extends to the manner in which it was used in this
case. It is indicated that the
judges, in their ruling, did not consider applying Articles 235 and 236 of
the Police Criminal Code, which punishes unintentional homicide.
PROCESSING BEFORE THE COMMISSION
On November 10, 1994, the Commission received the complaint in this
case. On June 13, 1995, the respective
notes were sent to the State and the petitioner.
On August 21, 1995, the Government of Ecuador presented its answer
to the complaint. On April 29,
1998, the Commission put itself at the disposal of the parties to reach a
friendly settlement, which was signed on August 15, 2001, in 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 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 Sister
Elsie Hope Monge Yoder, in representation of Mrs. María Eloisa Aguiar de Manzano,
mother, and Mrs. Teresa Olivia Izurieta Villegas, widow of Mr. Wilberto Samuel
Manzano Aguiar, 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 Sister Elsie Hope Monge Yoder, with citizen identification
number 090509576-6, in representation of Mrs. María Eloisa Aguiar de Manzano,
mother, and Mrs. Teresa Olivia Izurieta Villegas, widow of Mr. Wilberto Samuel
Manzano Aguiar, by special power-of-attorney executed before the Fourth Notary
Public of Esmeraldas District, 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. Wilberto Samuel Manzano Aguiar, recognized
in Article 4 (right to life), Article 8 (right to a fair trial), 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 11.574 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 Sister Elsie Hope Monge Yoder,
with citizen identification number 090509576-6, in representation of Mrs.
María Eloisa Aguiar de Manzano, mother, and Mrs. Teresa Olivia Izurieta, widow
of Mr. Wilberto Samuel Manzano Aguiar, by special power-of-attorney executed
before the Fourth Notary Public of Esmeraldas District, 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. Wilberto Samuel Manzano Aguiar, as well as any other claims
that Mrs. María Eloisa Aguiar de Manzano, mother, and Mrs. Teresa Olivia Izurieta
Villegas, widow of Mr. Wilberto Samuel Manzano Aguiar, 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. Wilberto
Samuel Manzano Aguiar, 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
Elsie Hope Monge Yoder 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. Wilberto Samuel Manzano Aguiar.
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.
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