René Gonzalo Cruz Pazmiño v. Ecuador, Case 11.605, Report No. 21/01, OEA/Ser.L/V/II.111 Doc. 20 rev. at 563 (2000).
RENÉ GONZALO CRUZ PAZMIÑO
February 20, 2001
On November 4, 1994, Gloria Esthela Pazmiño Mosquera and 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 they denounced 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 a fair trial (Article 8), and the right to judicial protection
(Article 25), in breach of the obligations that appear in Article 1(1),
all to the detriment of Mrs. Pazmiños son, Mr. René Gonzalo Cruz
The parties reached a friendly settlement agreement in this case
on June 11, 1999. This report contains a brief presentation of the facts
and the text of the settlement reached, in keeping with Article 49 of
On June 20, 1987, the youth René Gonzalo Cruz Pazmiño and his mother,
Gloria Esthela Pazmiño Mosquera, were leaving a cemetery when two men
approached them, one of whom shot at the youth René Gonzalo Cruz Pazmiño,
as a result of which he died.
The perpetrator of the shots fired at René Gonzalo Cruz Pazmiño
turned out to be Army First Sergeant Galo Nerys Alvarez Narvaes.
The trial of Alvarez Narvaes began July 13, 1987. The case went
before the Second Criminal Law Judge of Pichincha, who ordered the preventive
detention of the accused, to be served in a military facility.
The opinion of the prosecutor, of December 13, 1989, indicated
that there were grave presumptions of responsibility against Sgt. Alvarez
Narvaes. This opinion was accepted by the judge (who applies the law),
who on April 9, 1992, ordered that the trial begin, and for the case to
be removed to the Criminal Court, which would issue a judgment. That order
was affirmed by the Superior Court of Justice of Quito on February 2,
The Third Criminal Court of Pichincha was to hand down a judgment
after holding the respective hearing. Nonetheless, after finding that
the accused had escaped, the examination of the case was suspended on
June 11, 1993.
According to the petitioner, neither the armed forces or police
of Ecuador investigated or carried out sufficient operations to pursue
and capture Sgt. Alvarez Narvaes.
PROCESSING BEFORE THE COMMISSION
On November 4, 1994, the Commission received the complaint in this
On April 18, 1995, the respective notes were sent to the State
and the petitioner.
On April 1, 1996, the case was opened.
On May 15, 1998, the Commission placed itself at the disposal of
the parties to pursue a friendly settlement.
On May 25, 1999, the petitioner agreed to pursue a friendly settlement.
The friendly settlement agreement was signed on June 11, 1999, in the
presence of Carlos Ayala Corao. Mr. Ayala, then a member of the IACHR
and its rapporteur for Ecuador, had traveled to Quito to facilitate the
The parties asked the Commission to ratify this friendly settlement
agreement in all respects 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 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. Gloria Esthela Pazmiño Mosquera, the mother and legal
representative of Mr. René Gonzalo Cruz Pazmiño, 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 45 of the Regulations
of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
following persons were present at the signing of this friendly settlement
Dr. Ramón Jiménez Carbo, Attorney General of the State, as indicated
in his appointment and certificate of office, which are attached as qualifying
Mrs. Gloria Esthela Pazmiño Mosquera, mother and legal representative
of Mr. René Gonzalo Cruz Pazmiño, deceased, with citizen ID number 170589323-6,
which is attached as a qualifying document.
STATE RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCEPTANCE
Ecuadorian State acknowledges its international responsibility for having
violated the human rights of Mr. René Gonzalo Cruz Pazmiño, enshrined
in Article 4 (right to life) Article 7 (personal liberty), Article 8 (a
fair trial), Article 25 (judicial protection), and the general obligation
set forth in Article 1(1) of the American Convention on Human Rights and
other international instruments, since the violations were committed by
State agents, which could not be disproved by the State, giving rise to
the above, the Ecuadorian State accepts the facts in case 11.605 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. Gloria Esthela
Pazmiño Mosquera, mother and legal representative of Mr. René Gonzalo
Cruz Pazmiño, deceased, in keeping with the provisions of Articles 1045
and 1052 of the Civil Code, a one-time compensatory payment of thirty
thousand US dollars (US$ 30,000), or the equivalent in local currency,
calculated at the exchange rate in effect at the time the payment is made,
to be paid from the National Budget.
compensation covers the consequential damages, loss of income, and moral
damages suffered by Mr. René Gonzalo Cruz Pazmiño and his next-of-kin,
as well as any other claim that his next-of-kin 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 Finance, for it to carry out this
obligation within 90 days of the signing of this document.
PUNISHMENT OF THE PERSONS RESPONSIBLE
Ecuadorian State pledges to bring civil and criminal proceedings against
and shall seek the punishment of 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, except for the 1% tax on
the event that the State is delinquent for over three months from the
date the agreement is signed, it must pay interest on the amount owed,
corresponding to the current bank rate of the three largest banks in Ecuador
for the duration of its delinquency.
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 Mrs. Pazmiño,
mother and legal representative of Mr. René Gonzalo Cruz, deceased, 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
Gloria Esthela Pazmiño Mosquera, mother and legal representative of Mr.
René Gonzalo Cruz Pazmiño, deceased, expressly 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. René Gonzalo Cruz Pazmiño.
DETERMINATION OF COMPATIBILITY AND COMPLIANCE
The Commission determined that the friendly settlement agreement
transcribed above is compatible with the terms of Article 48(1)(f) of
the American Convention.
In April 2000, the compensation agreed upon was paid, in keeping
with the friendly settlement agreement, but the interest provided for
in the agreement has yet to be paid. On February 27, 2001, during a working
meeting, the State informed the Commission that it had instituted criminal
proceedings to determine the sanctions and responsibility of the persons
implicated in the violations alleged.
The Commission reiterates its recognition of the Ecuadorian State
for its decision to resolve this case through by adopting measures of
The IACHR also reiterates its acknowledgment of the petitioner
for accepting the terms of the agreement in question.
The IACHR will continue to monitor the implementation of the commitment
assumed by Ecuador regarding the trial of the persons implicated in the
facts alleged and payment of interest for the delay in payment of the
The IACHR ratifies that the possibility of friendly settlement
provided for in the American Convention makes it possible to conclude
the individual cases in a non-contentious manner, and has proven, in cases
from several countries, to offer an important vehicle for solving alleged
violations that can be used by both parties (petitioner and State).
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
To recognize that the State has made payment of $US 30,000 in compensation,
and has initiated the judicial proceeding to punish the persons implicated
in the alleged violation.
To urge the State to adopt the necessary measures to conclude implementation
of the commitment to prosecute the persons implicated in the facts alleged.
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 inform the IACHR every three months of 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., February 20, 2001.
(Signed): Claudio Grossman, Chairman; Juan Méndez, First Vice-Chairman;
Marta Altolaguirre, Second Vice-Chairman; Commissioners Hélio Bicudo,
Robert K. Goldman, and Peter Laurie.
Commissioner Julio Prado Vallejo, of Ecuadorian nationality, did not
participate in the discussion of this case, in keeping with Article
19 of the Commissions Regulations.