INTER - AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
COMISION INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS
COMISSÃO INTERAMERICANA DE DIREITOS HUMANOS
COMMISSION INTERAMÉRICAINE DES DROITS DE L'HOMME

ORGANIZACIÓN DE LOS ESTADOS AMERICANOS
WASHINGTON, D.C. 2 0 0 0 6 EEUU
January 26, 2012
Ref.:

Case No. 12.683
Melba del Carmen Suárez Peralta
Ecuador

Mr. Secretary:
I am pleased to address you on behalf of the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights in order to file Case No. 12.683 Melba del Carmen Suárez Peralta vs. the
state of Ecuador (hereinafter “the State”, “the Ecuadorian State” or “Ecuador”) before the
jurisdiction of the Honorable Inter-American Court of Human Rights, regarding the
absence of guarantees and judicial protection in the criminal proceedings followed
against to supposed people responsible of the medical malpractice alleged by Melba del
Carmen Suárez Peralta.
In July 2000, Melba del Carmen Suárez Peralta went to the private practice
“Minchala” to undergo surgery for appendicitis, which provoked her severe and
permanent sufferings. The criminal proceedings initiated in connection with the incident
concluded without result. The lack of due diligence in conducting the process led to
declare the prescription in 2005, after passed more than five years from the first court
order process.
In this regard, in its Merits Report 75/11, the Commission emphasized the
absence of diligence by both the prosecution and the judge in charge, and considered
that in the five years the necessary measures to clarify the complaint by the victim were
not taken, despite repeated requests. On this matter, an effective investigation against
the principal or on possible suspects in different responsibility degrees was not
performed. The Commission considered that the criminal proceeding was characterized
by absence of procedural impulse and of minimal guarantees of due diligence. The
absence of response and delay in impelling and dealing with the process favored with
impunity the process. Accordingly, the Commission considered that the State violated
the right to due process of the victims. Furthermore, the Commission determined that the
lack of motivation in response to the request of fine for the manager of justice for the
prescription of the action due to the his lack of diligence, constituted a violation of the
right to a fair trial.

Pablo Saavedra Alessandri, Secretario
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Apartado 6906-1000, San José, Costa Rica
The Commission notes that since the surgery performed in 2000, the state of
health of the victim has deteriorated. This has forced the victim to be hospitalized and
operated on several occasions. At present, his health has worsened and continues to
suffer severe symptoms that affect her permanently.

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