November 21, 2014
Ref.:

Case No. 11.438
Herrera Espinoza et al.
Ecuador

Dear Mr. Secretary:
I am pleased to write to you on behalf of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to
submit to the jurisdiction of the Honorable Inter-American Court of Human Rights Case No. 11.438, Herrera
Espinoza et al. in respect of the Republic of Ecuador (hereinafter “the State,” “the Ecuadorian State,” or
“Ecuador”).
The case involves the arbitrary deprivation of liberty and torture suffered to the detriment of Messrs.
Jorge Eliécer Herrera Espinoza, Luis Alfonso Jaramillo González, Eusebio Domingo Revelles, and
Emmanuel Cano during an investigation for the crime of international drug trafficking, as well as violations
of the rights to due process and to a fair trial to the detriment of Mr. Eusebio Domingo Revelles in the
framework of the criminal proceeding against him in which he was convicted on the basis of said
investigation. The Commission considered that the pre-trial detentions to which the victims were subject
took place in a legal framework that violated the American Convention. Likewise, the Commission
established that the application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by Eusebio Domingo Revelles did not
constitute an effective judicial remedy since, among other reasons, it was heard by an administrative rather
than a judicial authority.
The Commission established that the victims were tortured while they were in the facilities of the
National Police of Pichincha in order to get them to make self-incriminating statements, which were the
basis for involving Mr. Eusebio Domingo Revelles in a criminal trial in which he was not guaranteed the right
to defense or to information on consular assistance, since he was a Spanish national.
The Commission noted that the judicial authorities also violated the principle of the presumption of
innocence by validating the self-incriminating statements obtained from Mr. Eusebio Domingo Revelles
under torture, without assessing or disproving on adequate grounds the evidence in favor of his innocence.
This was done, among other reasons, because of the application of Article 116 of the Law on Narcotic and
Psychotropic Substances, which established a “presumption of guilt provided it was justified by the corpus
delicti. Lastly, the Commission determined that the State violated its international obligations by failing to
exclude from the criminal proceeding the evidence obtained under torture and by failing to investigate thus
far the torture to which all the victims were subject.
The State of Ecuador ratified the American Convention on Human Rights on December 28, 1977,
and accepted the contentious jurisdiction of the Court on July 24, 1984.

Mr. Pablo Saavedra Alessandri, Secretary
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
P.O. Box 6906-1000
San José, Costa Rica
Attachments

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