REPORT No. 63/18 CASE 12.593 ADMISSIBILITY AND MERITS VICTOR HENRY MINA CUERO ECUADOR May 8, 2018 I. SUMMARY 1. On March 11, 2002, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter the “InterAmerican Commission," "Commission," or "IACHR") received a petition filed by Víctor Henry Mina Cuero (hereinafter “the petitioner"),1 alleging the international responsibility of the Republic of Ecuador (hereinafter “the State of Ecuador," “the State,” or “Ecuador”) to his detriment. 2. The petitioner alleged a series of due process violations committed by the Disciplinary Tribunal which dismissed him from the police following a confrontation with several policemen who responded to a complaint of an alleged assault against his former live-in partner. Specifically, he said that in the context of the proceeding he did not have a defense lawyer, he was not notified of the charges against him in a timely manner, and he was unable to appeal the punitive decision. 3. The State argued that both the proceedings before the Disciplinary Tribunal and those relating to the application for constitutional relief and the unconstitutionality suit observed the procedural guarantees enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Convention” or the “American Convention”). 4. Based on its determinations as to fact and law, the Inter-American Commission has concluded that the State of Ecuador is responsible for violation of the rights recognized at Articles 8(1) (right to sufficient justification of decisions), 8(2) (right to be presumed innocent), 8(2)(b) (right to prior notification in detail of the charges against him), 8(2)(c) (right to adequate time and means for the preparation of his defense), 8(2)(d) (right to be assisted by legal counsel), 8(2)(h) (right to appeal the judgment), 9 (principle of legality), and 25(1) (right to judicial recourse) of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the American Convention” or “the Convention”), taken in conjunction with Articles 1(1) and 2 of that instrument, to the detriment of Víctor Henry Mina Cuero. The Commission formulated appropriate recommendations. II. SUBMISSIONS OF THE PARTIES A. The Petitioner 5. The petitioner said that on September 11, 2000, while serving as a policeman with the Loja Provincial Command, one of his superiors notified him that his three-month-old daughter was seriously ill. He said that in light of the foregoing, without obtaining permission from his superiors he immediately went to her aid in the town of Quindé, where his former live-in partner and mother of his daughter greeted him with insults. 6. He said that the aunt of his former live-in partner made a complaint to the police, alleging that he had assaulted them and fired several gunshots into the air to frighten them. The petitioner said that, in response, on September 15, 2000, several members of the police went to the address in order to draw up a police report and that on that occasion the police threatened him with submitting a “false report,” prompting him to call them “dirty cops.” 7. The petitioner said that in response both to the complaints and to his confrontation with the police, on September 18, 2000, the Police Internal Affairs Unit opened a disciplinary investigation against him without notifying him that it was under way. He said that in the context of the investigation, the Judicial Police 1 Subsequently, in a communication dated December 5, 2008, the Ecumenical Commission on Human Rights (CEDHU) joined as co-petitioner.