REPORT No. 33/13
CASE 11.576
ADMISSIBILITY AND MERITS
JOSÉ LUÍS GARCÍA IBARRA AND FAMILY
ECUADOR
July 10, 2013

I.

SUMMARY

1.
On November 8, 1994, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter
“the Inter-American Commission,” “the Commission” or “the IACHR”) received a petition that the
Comisión Ecuménica de Derechos Humanos [Ecumenical Human Rights Commission] (hereinafter “the
petitioners”) filed against the Republic of Ecuador (hereinafter also “the Ecuadorian State,” “the State”
or “Ecuador”) in which they alleged that the Republic of Ecuador was responsible for violation of various
provisions of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter also “the Convention” or “the
American Convention”). According to the petitioners, José Luís García Ibarra was arbitrarily deprived of
his life by a shot fired by a police officer. The petition also alleged irregularities and an unwarranted
delay in the internal processing of the investigation.
2.
The Commission registered the petition as case 11,576 and, on March 13, 1995, ordered
that the case be opened for processing in accordance with the Regulations then in force. Accordingly,
the petition was forwarded to the Ecuadorian State. On April 11 and August 20, 2003, the Commission
informed the parties that, in application of Article 37(3) of its Rules of Procedure then in force, it had
decided to defer its treatment of admissibility until the debate and decision on the merits.
3.
Throughout the processing of the case, the Ecuadorian State argued that the case
should be declared inadmissible on the grounds that it had already been prosecuted by the domestic
courts, which had imposed the corresponding penalties while observing all the judicial guarantees. It
pointed out that the Commission does not have the authority to act as a higher court or as a court of
fourth instance, or to review verdicts delivered by domestic courts acting in accordance with due
process. It also argued that the right to life was protected by a number of constitutional guarantees of
rights and that in this particular case, a verdict and sentence were handed down after a serious and
effective investigation was conducted, thereby demonstrating the existence of an adequate and
effective remedy.
4.
After examining the positions of the parties, the Inter-American Commission has
concluded that the Ecuadoran State is responsible for violation of the right to life and the child’s right to
special protection, established in articles 4 and 19 of the American Convention, read in conjunction with
Article 1(1) thereof, to the detriment of José Luís García Ibarra. The Commission has also concluded that
the Ecuadoran State is responsible for violation of the rights to humane treatment, judicial guarantees
and judicial protection, established in articles 5, 8 and 25 of the American Convention, read in
conjunction with Article 1(1) thereof, to the detriment of his next of kin: Pura Vicenta Ibarra Ponce
(mother), Alfonso Alfredo García Macias (father), and Luis Alfonso (brother), Santo Gonzalo (brother),
Ana Lucía (sister), Lorena Monserrate (sister), Alfredo Vicente (brother) and Juan Carlos (brother), all
surnamed García Ibarra. The Commission made the recommendations that these findings dictated.

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