REPORT No. 96/14
NOVEMBER 6, 2014


On May 4, 2006, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the InterAmerican Commission” or “the Commission”) received a petition lodged by Fernando Ponce Villacís, Raúl
Moscoso, Juan Guevara, and Patricio Asimbaya1 (hereinafter “the petitioners”) in which they alleged the
international responsibility of the Republic of Ecuador (hereinafter “the State” or “the Ecuadorian State”) for
human rights violations to the detriment of Tagaeri and Taromenani indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation
and its members (hereinafter “the alleged victims,” “the Tagaeri and Taromenani,” or “the indigenous peoples”).
By means of a note received by the IACHR on October 14, 2009, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities
of Ecuador (hereinafter “CONAIE” or “the co-petitioner”) applied to join the petition, and that request was
considered admissible by the Commission and duly notified to both parties.
The initial petition was presented in connection with the Ecuadorian State’s failure to adopt
effective mechanisms to protect the existence of the Tagaeri and Taromenani indigenous peoples in voluntary
isolation and their ancestral territory. The petitioners claimed that this can be seen in the acts of violence and
killings that these peoples have suffered, in particular two purported massacres in May 2003 and April 2006
that were allegedly committed by illegal loggers and members of the Waorani indigenous people.2 They claimed
that those incidents occurred as part of the invasion of the ancestral territory of the Tagaeri and Taromenani,
and were related to the legal and illegal exploitation of its natural resources. During the IACHR’s processing of
the matter, the petitioners claimed that the State’s continued failure to provide effective protective measures
led to a further alleged massacre of the indigenous peoples in isolation in March 2013.
They therefore maintain that the State is responsible for violating the rights enshrined in
Articles 3 (right to juridical personality), 4 (right to life), 8 (due process), 19 (rights of the child), 21 (right to
property), 23 (political rights), 24 (equality before the law), 25 (judicial protection), 26 (economic, social and
cultural rights), 2 (domestic legal effects), and 1 (obligation to respect rights) of the American Convention on
Human Rights (hereinafter “the Convention” or “the American Convention”); and in Articles I (right to life,
liberty, and personal security), II (equality before the law), VI (right to a family and to protection thereof), VIII
(right to residence and movement), IX (right to inviolability of the home), XI (right to preservation of health
and to well-being), XIII (right to the benefits of culture), XVII (right to recognition of juridical personality and
civil rights), XVIII (right to a fair trial), XX (right to vote and to participate in government) and XXIII (right to
property) of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (hereinafter “the American
In turn, in response to the petition, the Ecuadorian State offered information related to the
measures adopted to protect the peoples in isolation, such as the establishment and demarcation of a restricted
area (zona intangible) and the adoption of the National Policy for Peoples in Voluntary Isolation. It further
contended that the petition should be ruled inadmissible because domestic remedies had not been exhausted
and because the petitioners were seeking for the Commission to act as a court of the fourth instance outside its
sphere of competence. Regarding the alleged massacre of March 2013, it reported that the state prosecution
service was conducting a preliminary inquiry.
1 By means of a note received on November 6, 2013, Patricio Asimbaya requested that he no longer be considered a petitioner
in this matter.
2 In their filings with the IACHR, both the petitioners and the State use the terms Waorani and Huaorani indistinctly to refer to
the same indigenous people. In accordance with the self-identification of the indigenous people, in this report the IACHR will refer to them
as the “Waorani people.”


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