under no circumstances should those items be taken from operative units (...). I don't know whether
anyone else was more involved. I myself did not receive the equipment, or money, nor did I pay for it, since
my participation was limited to having organized a meeting between the interested party and the
aforementioned person. I hereby place on record that during my stay in the First Air Division (Primera
Zona Aérea) I have not been subjected to any form of physical or mental mistreatment, as attested in the
attached medical certificate.5

15. The IACHR notes that the military proceedings file submitted to it did not include the military certificate
allegedly issued during Mr. Cortez's testimony.
16. In the file before the IACHR there is a statement by Mr. Cortez addressed to the IACHR and delivered
before the First Notarial Office in Quito on March 8, in which he refers to the testimony he gave in January 1997.
In that statement he points out that:
In January 1996, while I was working in the Ícaro company hangar, someone arrived asking for me. When
I went to the entrance, he handed me a document containing an order for my arrest, issued by the Military
Prosecutor of the First Air Force Division (...) for inquiries into the theft of radio-navigation equipment
from one of the planes of the First Air Force Division. I did not agree to go, but the person bearing the order,
Sergeant Chávez, forced me with violent means to get into a vehicle. (...) The next day they performed a
quick medical checkup and released me. It should be noted that I was not in any comfortable room and
nobody else knew where I was. Nor did I make this statement before any judge, prosecutor, or competent
authority. I was left in an office with no protection and having to put up with the cold all night long. After a
few days, I was told I had nothing to do with this matter and that I shouldn't worry.6

17. On February 19, 1997, the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force sent a communication to the Criminal
Court of the First Air Force Division "to institute appropriate legal proceedings to determine responsibilities."
The Commander-in-Chief attached a report by the Head of the Intelligence Department of the Air Force stating
the following:
On January 10, 1997, Air Force intelligence personnel provided (...) the recording (audio) of a telephone
call between two individuals which suggested that an illicit act was being plotted in the Air Transportation
Command installations. (...) Through Official Letter (...) of (...), dated January 21, 1997, the Commander of
the Materials Group (...) reports (...) detection of the loss of VOR equipment (...) pertaining to the airplane
(...). Through tests and voice comparisons, it was determined that the voices on the phone were those of
Messrs.: Retired sergeants Gonzalo Orlando Cortez Espinosa (…), who according to the dialogue were
agreeing to deliver some kind of equipment in exchange for a considerable sum of money. Once the
aforementioned individuals were arrested, and following legal procedures, their statements/testimony
were received.7

18. The military proceedings file contains no documentation relating to the investigations allegedly
conducted prior to Mr. Cortez' statement, and no indication that said information was provided to him at that
moment. Nor is there any indication that an attorney was present while he rendered said statement.
19. That same day, the Military Criminal Court of the First Air Division issued a court order to institute
proceedings against the following four persons, including Mr. Cortez, for the crime of stealing and selling
Ecuadorian Air Force equipment. The Court indicated that:
(...) The Intelligence Secretariat immediately proceeded to analyze all the material provided and concluded
that a crime was being plotted in the Institution by retired Sergeant Gonzalo Orlando Cortez Espinoza (…)
Testimony of Mr. Cortez before the Head of of the Department of Intelligence of the Military Air Transportation Command and the Military
Prosecutor of the First Air Division (Primera Zona Aérea) on January 21, 1997. Page 5 of the 03-07 Judicial case file of the military criminal
proceedings. Attached to the petition of March 29, 2000.
6 Statement by Mr. Cortez, addressed to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, on March 8, 2012. Attached to the petitioner's
communication of April 3, 2012.
7 Ministry of Defense. Air Transportation Command. Department of Intelligence. Report, undated, on the findings of the investigation into
the theft of VOR-2-51-RV-4 S/N 5037 equipment. Attached to Official Letter No. 0338-CC-6-D-O-97, sent by the Commander-in=Chief of
the Air Forces on February 19, 1997. Pages 1 to 4 of the 03-07 Judicial case file of the military criminal proceedings. Attached to the
petition of March 29, 2000.


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