N° 74/09




Washington, D.C., October 13, 2009 — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) filed an application with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on October 8, 2009, in Case 12.581, Jesús Tranquilino Vélez Loor, Panama.


The case involves the detention and subsequent judicial process against Jesús Tranquilino Vélez Loor, an Ecuadorian national, on offenses related to his migratory status, without receiving procedural guarantees, the right to be heard and the right to present a defense.  The case also involves the lack of investigation of complaints of torture presented by Mr. Vélez Loor before the Panamanian authorities, as well as the inhumane conditions of detention under which he was held in several Panamanian penitentiaries from the day he was deprived of his liberty, on November 11, 2002, until his deportation to the Republic of Ecuador, on September 10, 2003.


The case was taken to the Inter-American Court because the Commission determined that the State had not adopted sufficient measures to comply with the recommendations contained in the report on the merits approved by the IACHR in accordance with article 50 of the American Convention on Human Rights. In that report, the Commission concluded the State of Panama was responsible for violating rights protected by the American Convention on Human Rights and by the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture.


A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has the mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who act in a personal capacity, without representing a particular country, and who are elected by the OAS General Assembly.


Useful links

Admissibility Report of Case 12.581, Jesús Tranquilino Vélez Loor, Panama

Applications filed by the IACHR to the IA Court HR

IACHR Web site








Read this press release in Spanish / Lea este comunicado de prensa en espańol


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