REPORT No. 119/10
CASE 12.004
October 22, 2010



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.
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
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.
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


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

As established, infra, the IACHR determines noncompliance with Article 2 of the Convention based on
the principle of iura novit curiae.

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