REPORT No. 40/14
CASE 11.438
ADMISSIBILITY AND MERITS
HERRERA ESPINOZA ET AL
ECUADOR
July 17, 2014

I.

SYNOPSIS

1.
On October 31, 1994, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
Commission,” the Inter-American Commission” or “the IACHR”) received a petition lodged by Mrs. Elsie
Monje, Director of the Ecumenical Human Rights Commission (hereinafter “the petitioner”), alleging
international responsibility of the State of Ecuador (hereinafter “the State” or “Ecuador”) for violation of
several rights protected by the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter, “the Convention” or “the
American Convention”) to the detriment of Messrs. Jorge Eliécer Herrera Espinoza, Luis Alfonso Jaramillo
González, Eusebio Domingo Revelles and Emmanuel Cano (hereinafter “the alleged victims”).
2.
The original petition stated that the alleged victims were arrested on August 2, 1994 in a sting
operation conducted by the police targeting the reputed members of a drug trafficking ring in the city of Quito.
It contended that, in the context of the operation, in which twelve individuals were arrested, the alleged victims
were wrongfully deprived of their liberty and transferred to the offices of Interpol, where they were tortured in
order to force them to sign confessions. Subsequently, the petitioner brought the claim that, during the criminal
proceedings instituted against Mr. Eusebio Domingo Revelles, he was improperly held in pretrial detention and
convicted based on statements given under duress. The petitioner also made allegations pertaining to the
detention and supposed violations of the right to humane treatment of the four alleged victims and of the due
process rights of Mr. Eusebio Domingo Revelles.
3.
The State contended that the arrests and pretrial detention of the alleged victims were
justified under the laws in force at the time and in light of the evidence of their guilt as members of an
international drug trafficking ring. It argued that the alleged victims were not subjected to any duress at all in
giving their statements, inasmuch as the statements were given in the presence of a deputy of the Office of the
Public Prosecutor. It further claimed that the injuries described in the medical expert’s certificates were not
caused by agents of the State. It also asserted that the criminal proceedings instituted against Mr. Eusebio
Domingo Revelles abided by all fair trial guarantees. Lastly, it argued that not all available domestic remedies
to protect the rights claimed by the petitioner to be violated were exhausted.
4.
After examining the basis in fact and law submitted by the parties, the Commission
concludes that the State of Ecuador is responsible for violation of the rights to humane treatment and
personal liberty, as established respectively in Articles 5 and 7 of the American Convention in connection
with Article 1.1 thereof. The Commission also concludes that the State of Ecuador is responsible for violation
of the obligations set forth in Articles 1, 6 and 8 of the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish
Torture to the detriment of Jorge Eliécer Herrera Espinoza, Luis Alfonso Jaramillo González, Eusebio Domingo
Revelles and Emmanuel Cano. Furthermore, the Commission concluded that the State of Ecuador is
responsible for violation of the right to a fair trial and judicial protection as provided for respectively in
Articles 8 and 25 of the American Convention in connection with the obligations set forth in Articles 1.1 and 2
of said instrument, to the detriment of Mr. Eusebio Domingo Revelles.
II.

PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSION

5.
On October 31, 1994, the petitioner made the original filing of the petition. On March 13,
1995, the IACHR forwarded the relevant portions of the petition to the State of Ecuador requesting that it
submit any information it deemed appropriate within a period of 90 days. On July 10, 1995, the request to the
Ecuadorean State was resent. On August 3, 1995, the Ecuadorian State reported that it had requested
information from the competent authorities but that, as of that date, the items it required in order to be able
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