REPORT No. 131/17
ADMISSIBILITY AND MERITS
MARIO MONTESINOS MEJÍA
OCTOBER 25, 2017
On August 30, 1996 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter, "the
Commission" or “the IACHR”) received a petition filed by Alejandro Ponce-Villacís (hereinafter, "the
petitioner”) alleging the international responsibility of the Republic of Ecuador (hereinafter, “the State,” "the
Ecuadorian State" or "Ecuador") for the illegal and arbitrary arrest of Mario Montesinos Mejía (hereinafter,
“the alleged victim”) by police officers in 1992, for the acts of torture inflicted on him, and for the lack of
judicial protection in the criminal cases brought against him.
The State alleged that the case was inadmissible inasmuch as Mr. Montesinos had failed to
exhaust domestic remedies prior to lodging the petition. It held that the arrest was made in accordance with
domestic law and that due process guarantees were respected during the criminal proceedings.
After examining the points of fact and law presented by the parties, the Commission
concludes that the State is responsible for violating the rights to humane treatment, personal liberty, a fair
trial, and judicial protection set forth in Articles 5(1), 5(2), 7(1), 7(2), 7(3), 7(4), 7(5), 7(6), 8(1), 8(2),
8(2)(d), 8(3), 24, 25(1), and 25(2)(c) of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter, “the
American Convention” or “the Convention”) in connection with Articles 1(1) and 2 thereof, to the detriment of
Mario Montesinos Mejía. The Commission further concludes that the State is responsible for the violation of
Articles 1, 6, and 8 of the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture (hereinafter, “the
PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSION
The IACHR received the initial petition on August 30, 1996. On September 24, 1996 the
Commission forwarded the petition to the State, requesting that it submit its observations on admissibility
within ninety days. The State presented its comments on December 10 of that year. The IACHR subsequently
received communications from both parties, each of which was duly forwarded.
On February 9, 2004 the IACHR informed the parties that, pursuant to Article 37(3) of its
Rules of Procedure in force at the time, it had decided to defer its examination of admissibility until it
deliberated and decided on the merits. The petitioner furnished additional observations on March 9, 2004. On
December 15, 2005 the IACHR forwarded those observations to the State and asked it to provide further
comments within two months. The State submitted additional observations on the admissibility and merits
on July 15, 2016.
POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES
The petitioner alleged the international responsibility of the Ecuadorian State for the illegal
and arbitrary arrest of Mario Montesinos Mejía by police officers in 1992, the torture he suffered, and the lack
of judicial protection during the criminal cases brought against him. Details about Mr. Montesinos Mejía’s
arrest and the criminal prosecutions can be found in the “Determination of Facts” section.