REPORT N° 64/04
PETITION 167/03
ADMISSIBILITY
THE KICHWA PEOPLES OF THE SARAYAKU COMMUNITY AND ITS MEMBERS
ECUADOR
October 13, 2004
I.

SUMMARY

1. On December 19, 2003, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter the
“Inter-American Commission,” or the “Commission,” or the “IACHR”) received a petition lodged
by the Association of Kichwa Peoples of Sarayaku, the Center for Justice and International Law
(CEJIL), and the Center for Economic and Social Rights [Centro de Derechos Económicos y
Sociales (CDES)] (hereinafter the “petitioners”), alleging the responsibility of the Republic of
Ecuador (hereinafter the “State” or the “Ecuadorian State”) to the detriment of the Kichwa
indigenous people of the Sarayaku community and its members (hereinafter the “Kichwa
people of Sarayaku” or “the Sarayaku community”).
2. The petitioners allege that the State is responsible for a series of acts and omissions
harming the Kichwa peoples of Sarayaku because it has allowed an oil company to carry out
activities on the ancestral lands of the Sarayaku community without its consent, it has
persecuted community leaders, and has denied judicial protection and legal due process to the
Sarayaku community. In addition, the State has allowed third parties to systematically violate
the rights of the Sarayaku community. In light of the foregoing, they claim that the State is
responsible for violating the fundamental individual and collective rights of the Sarayaku
community and its members, specifically the right to property (Article 21), judicial protection
(Article 25), due process (Article 8), freedom of movement (Article 22), personal integrity
(Article 5), personal liberty and security (Article 7), life (Article 4), freedom of association
(Article 16), political participation (Article 23), freedom of expression (Article 13), juridical
personality (Article 3), freedom of conscience and religion (Article 12), the rights of the child
(Article 19), equality (Article 24), health and culture (Article 26, in accordance with Articles XI
and XIII of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man) under the American
Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter the “American Convention” or the “Convention”).
They also allege that the State has failed to comply with its general obligations to respect and
guarantee the aforementioned rights (Article 1(1)) and to adopt domestic legal provisions to
make them effective (Article 2), both under the American Convention.
3. For its part, the State asserts that the petition is inadmissible due to the failure to exhaust
domestic remedies, given that the petitioners filed a constitutional recourse ofamparo, which is
not the adequate or effective remedy for resolving the alleged infringement. It should have
been a remedy in the administrative disputes jurisdiction.
4. The Commission concludes in this report, without prejudging the merits of the case, that the
petition is admissible in accordance with Articles 46 and 47 of the Convention and that it will
continue to analyze the alleged violations of Articles 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 16, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24,
25, 26 relative to Articles 1(1) and 2 of this instrument. It further decides to advise the parties
of its decision and publish it in its Annual Report.
II.

PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSION

A.

Petition

5. The petition was lodged before the Inter-American Commission on December 19, 2003, and
registered as number P167/03. On February 18, 2004, the Commission forwarded copies of the
pertinent portions of the complaint to the State and requested that it submit its observations
within a period of 60 days in accordance with Article 30(2) of the Rules of Procedure of the

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