Carlos Juela Molina v. Ecuador, Case 11.584, Report No. 97/00, OEA/Ser.L/V/II.111 Doc. 20 rev. at 526 (2000).
CARLOS JUELA MOLINA
October 5, 2000
On December 19, 1995, Carlos Alberto Juela Molina (hereinafter the
petitioner) submitted 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
he alleged violations of the following rights protected by the American Convention
on Human Rights (hereinafter the Convention or the American
Convention): the right
to humane treatment (Article 5) and the right to personal liberty (Article
7), in breach of the obligations set forth at Article 1(1), to the detriment
of Mr. Juela Molina.
On February 26, 1999, the parties reached a friendly settlement agreement
in this case. This report contains
a brief presentation of the facts and the text of the agreement, in keeping
with Article 49 of the Convention.
On December 21, 1989, when he was 15 years old, the petitioner was
detained at 1:30 p.m. at the intersection of Bahía and Loja streets by police
agent Marco Acosta Iza; the stated reason for the arrest was the robbery of
a pair of eyeglasses. At that
very moment he was brutally beaten by the agent, who kicked him in the stomach,
causing him to vomit blood. The
petitioner stated that the witnesses present appealed to the agent to stop.
Later, the petitioner was taken by the agent to the offices of police
investigation, at that time known as the Criminal Investigation Service of
Pichincha (Servicio de Investigación Criminal de Pichincha: SIC-P),
where he was locked in a cell, and where he was beaten and kicked once again.
As he was in great pain and was vomiting, he was taken to the Hospital
Eugenio Espejo, where he underwent emergency surgery, as the physicians found
his duodenum was perforated and had lesions.
After the forensic examination was performed that determined that the
petitioner would be physically incapacitated for 30 to 60 days, criminal proceedings
were instituted against agent Acosta Iza in the Eighth Criminal Court of Pichincha;
nonetheless, the judge disqualified himself from the case, and removed the
case to the Second Court of the First District of the National Police.
The trial began on April 2, 1990.
In the trial first instance court it was ordered that police agent
Acosta Iza be arrested, but he was released on bond.
When the agent failed to appear in court as required, the judge executed
the bond and ordered the arrest of the accused, for trial.
On April 9, 1992, he was ordered discharged from the police on grounds
of professional misconduct.
Given the lack of cooperation of the police agents in making the arrest,
he was not arrested until 1995. Immediately
the accused filed a motion to bar the action on grounds that the statute of
limitations had run. This request
was granted, on appeal, by the First District Court of the National Police,
and the case was archived, which exhausted domestic remedies, as the State
The lack of diligence in processing the case on a timely basis and
the non-existence, in the domestic jurisdiction, of a legal mechanism for
seeking to punish the person responsible kept the petitioner from receiving
compensation for the damages arbitrarily imposed on him by the police agent
who was accused.
PROCESSING BEFORE THE COMMISSION
On January 18, 1996, the Commission received the complaint in this
case, and on March 1, 1996, it began its processing, proceeding in conformity
with the Commissions Regulations.
The Ecuadorian State, in its response of July 21, 1998, accepted its
responsibility. That response
was transmitted to the petitioner on September 2, 1998, when the IACHR proposed
to begin to pursue a friendly settlement. On October 12, 1998, the petitioner
also noted his willingness to pursue a friendly settlement. On February 25,
1999, the State informed the Commission that the agreement had been signed,
and attached the document.
THE 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 Mr. Carlos
Alberto Juela Molina, each of their own right, 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
Mr. Carlos Alberto Juela Molina, on his own behalf, as appears from
the copy of citizenship document number 171171521-7; a copy of that document
is also attached as a qualifying document.
STATE RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCEPTANCE
Ecuadorian State acknowledges its international responsibility for having
violated the human rights of Mr. Carlos Alberto Juela Molina enshrined in
Article 5(2) of the American Convention on Human Rights and other international
instruments, considering that Mr. Carlos Alberto Juela Molina was arbitrarily
detained and tortured, and 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. 11.584 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 Mr. Carlos Alberto Juela Molina
a one-time compensatory payment in the amount of fifteen thousand US dollars
(US$ 15,000) 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
compensation covers the consequential damages, loss of income, and moral damages
suffered by Mr. Carlos Alberto Juela Molina, as well as any other claims that
Carlos Alberto Juela Molina or his 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 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 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; and therefore, it will not proceed against the persons
who have been object of final judgment by the national courts, in relation
to the alleged violations.
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 capital
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 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. Carlos Alberto
Juela Molina 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 norms 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
Carlos Alberto Juela Molina 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. Carlos Alberto Juela Molina.
DETERMINATION OF COMPATIBILITY AND COMPLIANCE
The Commission determined that the settlement agreement is compatible
with the provisions of Article 48(1)(f) of the American Convention.
On September 27, 1999, CEDHU informed the Commission that on the very
day seven months after the signing of the agreement between the petitioner
and the State, the State proceeded to make payment of the compensation agreed
According to the petitioner, the State has not taken any initiative
to punish the persons responsible, since the action was declared prescribed
by the Second Court (Segundo Juzgado) of the First Police District,
which had the State accede to the demand put forth before the IACHR.
The Commission reiterates its recognition of the Ecuadorian State for
its decision to settle the case through reparative measures, including those
needed to punish the persons responsible for the violation alleged.
The IACHR also reiterates its recognition of the petitioner for accepting
the terms of the agreement in question.
The IACHR will continue monitoring compliance with the commitment assumed
by Ecuador to bring to trial the persons considered responsible for the facts
alleged, which to date has not been done.
The IACHR ratifies that the possibility of friendly settlement provided
for in the American Convention makes it possible to conclude individual cases
in a non-contentious manner, and has proven, in cases from several countries,
to offer an important vehicle for resolving violations alleged, which may
be used by both parties (petitioner and the State).
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
To recognize that the State has made payment of US$ 15,000 as compensation,
and that it has failed to carry out its commitment to punish the persons responsible
for the violation alleged.
To urge the State to take the measures needed to comply with the pending
commitments to punish the persons responsible for the violation alleged.
To continue to monitor and supervise compliance with 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 regarding performance of the obligations
assumed by the State under this friendly settlement agreement.
To make this report public and to 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 5, 2000. (Signed) Hélio Bicudo, Chairman; Claudio Grossman, First Vice-Chairman; Juan Méndez, Second Vice-Chairman; Commissioners: Marta Altolaguirre, 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 19 of the Commissions