On November 9, 1994, Byron Roberto Cañaveral, with the legal
assistance of the Comisión Ecuménica de Derechos Humanos del Ecuador
(CEDHU) (hereinafter “the Petitioner” or “CEDHU”) (Ecumenical
Commission for Human Rights) submitted a petition to the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Commission,” “the
Inter-American Commission,” or “the IACHR”) against the Republic of
Ecuador (hereinafter “the State,” the “Ecuadorian State,” or
“Ecuador”), in which he alleged violations of the following rights
protected by the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
American Convention” or the “Convention”):
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
the judicial protection (Article 25), and at the same time the general
obligation of the Ecuadorian State to respect the rights contained in the
American Convention, and to guarantee their free and full exercise
(Article 1(1)), to the detriment of Mr. Byron Roberto Cañaveral.
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 agreement,
in keeping with Article 49 of the Convention.
On May 26, 1993, Mr. Byron Roberto Cañaveral was detained by
members of the National Police who were carrying out operations during a
civic strike called by the Coordinadora Agraria and several
grass-roots social organizations.
After finding a card indicating his membership in the Juventud
Revolucionaria del Ecuador, the police accused him of setting a police
car on fire, and detained and tortured him.
The medical certificate indicated excoriations on the eyelids,
conjunctive irritation, and pain in the shoulders, all due to torture.
PROCESSING BEFORE THE COMMISSION
On November 9, 1994, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
received a petition submitted by the petitioner against the Ecuadorian
State, which was opened on March 13, 1995.
The case was then processed pursuant to the Commission’s
On February 9, 1999, the Commission placed itself at the disposal
of the parties in order to initiate the procedure to reach a friendly
settlement. On April 5, 1999,
CEDHU, in its capacity as representative of Mr. Cañaveral Chiluisa,
accepted the Commission’s proposal, and on June 11, 1999, this friendly
settlement agreement was signed in the city of Quito, in Ecuador, with the
presence of Carlos Ayala Corao, member of the IACHR at the time, and
rapporteur for Ecuador, who traveled to Quito to facilitate the agreement.
THE 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
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. Byron Roberto Cañaveral Chiluisa,
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 documents;
Mr. Byron Roberto Cañaveral Chiluisa, citizenship document number
171021838-7; a copy of that document is also attached as a qualifying
STATE RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCEPTANCE
Ecuadorian State acknowledges its international responsibility for having
violated the human rights of Mr. Byron Roberto Cañaveral Chiluisa,
enshrined in Article 5 (right to humane treatment), 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 State responsibility.
the above, the Ecuadorian State accepts the facts in case No. 11.439
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 Byron Roberto Cañaveral
Chiluisa a one-time compensatory payment in the amount of seven thousand
US dollars (US$ 7,000) 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. Byron Roberto Cañaveral Chiluisa and his family
members, as well as any other claims of the family members of Mr. Byron
Roberto Cañaveral Chiluisa 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.
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 country’s 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 Mr. Byron
Roberto Cañaveral 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
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
Byron Roberto Cañaveral Chiluisa 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. Byron Roberto
DETERMINATION OF COMPATIBILITY AND COMPLIANCE
The Commission determined that the agreement is compatible with the
provisions of Article 48(1)(f) of the American Convention.
On August 29, 2000, CEDHU informed the Commission that on August 11
of this year, the State, 14 months after the signing of the agreement,
proceeded to make payment of the compensation agreed upon.
Nonetheless, the State has yet to pay the interest accruing from
the 14-month delinquency in payment of the compensation provided for in
the friendly settlement agreement.
According to the petitioner, the State has not carried out its main
commitment, which is to punish the persons responsible for the violations
that were the subject of the complaint before the Commission.
The Commission reiterates its recognition of the Ecuadorian State
for its decision to settle this case through reparative measures,
including those necessary for bringing civil, criminal, and administrative
proceedings against those who participated in the violations alleged in
the performance of government functions.
The IACHR will continue to monitor compliance with the continuing
commitments assumed by Ecuador to bring civil, criminal, and
administrative proceedings against the persons who, in the performance of
government functions, participated in the violations alleged, and the
payment of interest for delinquency in payment.
The IACHR ratifies that the friendly settlement procedure in the
American Convention make it possible to conclude individual cases in a
non-contentious manner, and has proven, in cases from various countries,
to offer an important vehicle for settling alleged violations that may be
used by both parties (petitioners and the State).
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
To recognize that the State has made payment of US$ 7,000.00 as
compensation, and that it has failed to carry out its commitment to punish
the persons responsible for the violation alleged, or to pay interest for
the delinquency in payment of the compensation.
To urge the State to take the measures needed to carry out the
pending commitment to bring civil, criminal, and administrative
proceedings against those persons who, in the performance of state
functions, participated in the alleged violations, and to pay interest for
the delinquency in payment of the compensation.
To continue to monitor and supervise implementation of the friendly
settlement agreement, and in this context to remind the Ecuadorian State,
through the Office of the Attorney General, of its commitment to report to
the IACHR every three months on progress in carrying out the obligations
assumed by the State under this friendly settlement.
To make this report public and to include 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.