REPORT No. 119/10 CASE 12.004 ADMISSIBILITY AND MERITS MARCO BIENVENIDO PALMA MENDOZA ET. AL. ECUADOR October 22, 2010 I. SUMMARY 1. On September 24 1997, the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (hereinafter “the Commission” or “the IAHCR”) received a petition presented by the Ecumenical Human Rights Commission “CEDHU” (hereinafter “the petitioners”) charging the Republic of Ecuador (hereinafter “the State” or “the Ecuadorian State”) with lack of due diligence in the investigation, trial, and punishment of those responsible for the detention, disappearance, and subsequent murder of Marco Bienvenido Palma Mendoza (hereinafter “Mr. Palma”), which occurred on May 16, 1997, in the district (cantón) of Manta, in the province of Manabí. 2. The petitioners argue that the State is responsible for violating the rights to life, to humane treatment, to personal liberty, to a fair trial, and to judicial protection enshrined in Articles 4, 5, 7, 8, and 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the American Convention” or “the Convention”) all in accordance with the general obligation to respect and guarantee the rights envisaged in Article 1(1) of this instrument. They maintain that the case is admissible in view of the fact that domestic remedies have been exhausted in accordance with Article 46(1) (a) of the American Convention. 3. The State declares that the investigations carried out by judicial authorities in relation to the events described by the petitioners led to the punishment of the responsible parties, who were in no way linked to the State. Because of this, and in accordance with Article 47(b) of the Convention, the State maintains that the petitioners have not demonstrated facts that imply a violation of the provisions of the aforementioned international instrument and, therefore, argues that the case should be declared inadmissible. It also argues that internal jurisdiction remedies have not been exhausted. 4. After analyzing the available information, substantiating the procedures, and applying Article 36(3) of the current Rules of Procedure for deferring the decision on admissibility, the Commission determined that the admissibility requirements established in Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention had been met and concluded that the State is responsible for having violated the right to humane treatment enshrined in Article 5; and its obligation to guarantee a fair trial and provide judicial protection in relationship to the right to life, as enshrined in Articles 8(1) and 25(1) and in relation to Article 4(1) of the American Convention, all in connection with Articles 1(1) and 2 of the instrument in question.1 II. PROCESSING BY THE COMMISSION 5. The IACHR received the initial petition on September 24, 1997 and registered the petition under the number 12.004, according to the practices in effect at the time. On May 1, 1998, the Commission forwarded the petition to the State and gave it a period of 90 days to present its observations. Likewise, via communication dated May 1, 1998, the Commission asked the State to send, within a period of 20 days, specific 1 As established, infra, the IACHR determines noncompliance with Article 2 of the Convention based on the principle of iura novit curiae.