On November 8, 1994, the Comisión Ecuménica de Derechos
Humanos (hereinafter “CEDHU” or “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 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 personal liberty (Article 7), the right to a fair trial (Article
8), and the right to judicial protection (Article 25), all in breach of
the obligations that appear in Article 1(1)--to the detriment of Mrs. Lida
Angela Riera Rodríguez.
The parties reached a friendly settlement agreement in the present
case on June 11, 1999. This report contains a brief presentation of the
facts and the text of the agreement reached, in keeping with Article 49 of
Mrs. Riera was detained on January 7, 1992, allegedly for the crime
of fraud (estafa). The Fifth
Criminal Law Judge of Pichincha, on January 24, 1994, instituted criminal
proceedings against, among others, Mrs. Riera, for complicity in fraud.
The private accuser appealed that order, understanding the facts to
constitute the crime of peculation (peculado).
The case was examined by the sixth chamber of the Superior Court of
Quito, which considered the facts to constitute a crime peculation, in the
degree of complicity, and ordered that a trial proceed.
The petitioner reported that under Ecuadorian law, the initial
phase (sumario) in this case
should have lasted 60 days, but took more than two years, and the appeal
should have been ruled on in 15 days, yet more than 210 days elapsed
without a judgment issuing.
Due to this delay, Mrs. Riera was detained from January 1992 to
The Second Criminal Court of Pichincha finally handed down a
judgment in the case on June 26, 1995, pursuant to which Mrs. Riera was
sentenced to two years of imprisonment as an accessory after the fact.
At that time, she had already been detained for almost three years
and six months. On July 11, 1995, Mrs. Riera was released, after having
been detained for a period that was one year and six months longer than
the penalty imposed.
PROCESSING BEFORE THE COMMISSION
After having received the complaint on November 8, 1994, and having
already opened the case, on February 9, 1999, the Commission placed itself
at the disposal of the parties to pursue a friendly settlement. Such a
settlement was reached on June 11, 1999, with the presence of Carlos Ayala
Corao, then-member of the IACHR and rapporteur for Ecuador, who traveled
to Quito to facilitate the agreement.
The parties asked the Commission to ratify this friendly settlement
agreement in all its parts 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
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. Lida Angela Riera Rodríguez,
acting on her own behalf, 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;
Mrs. Lida Angela Riera Rodríguez, bearer of citizen ID card number
170694837-7, a copy of which is also attached as a qualifying document.
STATE RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCEPTANCE
Ecuadorian State acknowledges its international responsibility for having
violated the human rights of Mrs. Lida Angela Riera Rodríguez, enshrined
in 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 11.512 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. Lida Angela Riera
Rodríguez, a one-time compensatory payment of twenty thousand US dollars
(US$ 20,000), 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 Mrs. Lida Angela Riera Rodríguez, and any other claim
that Mrs. Lida Angela Riera Rodríguez or her 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 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
In 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
In 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. Lida
Angela Riera Rodríguez 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
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
Lida Angela Riera Rodríguez 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
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 Mrs. Lida Angela
DETERMINATION OF COMPATIBILITY AND COMPLIANCE
The Commission determined that the friendly settlement agreement
transcribed is compatible with the provisions of Article 48(1)(f) of the
In April 2000, the compensation agreed upon in the friendly
settlement agreement was paid, yet the interest, also provided for in the
agreement, has yet to be paid.
On February 27, 2001, during a working meeting, the State informed
the Commission that criminal proceedings had been instituted to determine
the sanctions and responsibility of the persons implicated in the
The Commission reiterates its recognition of the Ecuadorian State
for its decision to resolve this case by adopting measures of reparation,
including those necessary to punish the persons responsible for the
The IACHR also reiterates its recognition of the petitioner for
accepting the terms of the agreement.
The IACHR shall continue to monitor implementation of the ongoing
commitments assumed by Ecuador with regard to the prosecution of the
persons implicated in the facts alleged, and payment of the interest owed
due to the delay in payment of the compensation.
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 acknowledge that the State has made payment of US$ 20,000 as
compensation, and has initiated the judicial proceedings with respect to
the sanction of the persons implicated in the facts alleged.
To urge the State to adopt the necessary measures to conclude
implementation of the commitment regarding the trial of persons implicated
in the facts alleged.
To continue to monitor and supervise compliance with each and every
one of the points of the friendly settlement, 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 its 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,
Claudio Grossman, Chairman; Juan Méndez, First Vice-Chairman; Marta
Altolaguirre, Second Vice-Chairman; Commissioners Hélio Bicudo, Robert K.
Goldman, and Peter Laurie.