Albarracín. In addition, the Commission concluded that the State is responsible for violating Articles 5.1
(humane treatment), 8.1 (judicial guarantees), and 25.1 (judicial protection) of the American Convention, to
the detriment of Paola’s family members. The Commission concluded that the State is responsible for violating
Article 7 of the Inter-American Convention for Preventing, Punishing, and Eradicating Violence against Women,
“Convention of Belém do Pará”. The Commission formulated the corresponding recommendations.
II.

POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES

A.

Petitioners

6.
The petitioners stated that Paola lived at home with her mother's family—her grandmother,
her mother, and her sister—in a suburb of Guayaquil, Ecuador. It stated that at the age of 12, Paola enrolled at
the Dr. Miguel Martínez Serrano National Technical School of Commerce and Administration (hereinafter "the
school"). It alleged that in 2001, Paola began having problems in two subjects and faced the possibility of being
held back. In light of the situation, the vice principal, Bolívar Eduardo Espín Zurita (hereinafter "Bolívar Espín”
or "the vice principal") offered to help her on the condition that she go out with him. It stated that after a period
of constantly pressuring Paola, the vice principal established a sexual relationship with her, the consequences
of which she was not capable of handling or evaluating.
7.
They stated that in November 2002, Paola showed two classmates her positive pregnancy test
and told them that the man responsible was the vice principal, and that he had given her money for an injection
to terminate the pregnancy. As a favor to the vice principal, the injection would be administered by the school
doctor, Raúl David Ortega Gálvez. They stated that the doctor told Paola he would give her the injection on the
condition that she have sexual relations with him. It stated that on December 12, 2002, Paola swallowed 11
white phosphorous firecracker pellets (called diablillos), of which she informed her friends on the bus to school.
It stated that when the bus arrived at school, her friends immediately took her to the school infirmary.
8.
The petitioners alleged that neither the doctor nor any other school official took the necessary
measures to address Paola’s serious condition or arrange that she be transferred to a hospital even though she
was under their custody and care. It added that Paola's mother, Petita Paulina Albarracín Albán (hereinafter
“Petita” or “Petita Albarracín”) learned of what happened after one of Paola's classmates called her and it was
not until she arrived at the school, 30 minutes later, that Paola was taken to a hospital in a taxi. It stated that
Paola died in the early morning hours of December 13, 2002, as a result of white phosphorus poisoning. The
petitioners stated that it was not until after Paola's death that her relatives learned about the harassment of
which she had been a victim.
9.
The petitioners stated that on December 17, 2002, Paola's mother filed a criminal complaint
regarding the facts, and in October 2003, her mother initiated a private criminal prosecution against the vice
principal for sexual harassment, rape, and instigation to suicide. It added that Ms. Petita also turned to the civil
courts and administrative forums in seeking punishment of the vice principal and reparation of the damage
caused to her daughter. They stated that the legal proceedings have suffered from unjustified delays,
negligence, bias, discriminatory assumptions, and gender prejudices, all of which have obstructed the relatives’
quest for justice.
10.
Regarding the criminal proceeding, they stated that only the sexual harassment and not the
rape would be investigated and that the order to initiate the trial omitted the accusation of the crime of
instigation of suicide. It alleged that the warrant for the vice principal's arrest was not executed because he was
a fugitive, although it was known that he never left Guayaquil. They stated that prescription took effect in 2008
due to delays in the judiciary. Regarding the administrative procedure, it indicated that on January 23, 2003,
the Guayas Provincial Office of Education issued a report concluding that the available evidence only showed
that Paola fell in love with the vice principal and that it was not clear whether he had encouraged or requited
that love. It added that the report questioned the truth of the testimony from the students, did not take into
account Paola's vulnerability, and came to prejudicial conclusions. They stated that the report also failed to
take into account a survey conducted of teachers and students, several of which stated that the vice principal

Select target paragraph3