REPORT Nº 85/08
PETITION 162-06
ADMISSIBILITY
MELBA DEL CARMEN SUÁREZ PERALTA
ECUADOR
October 30, 2008
I.

SUMMARY

1. On February 23, 2006, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
Commission”) received a petition submitted by Mr. Jorge Sosa Meza (hereinafter “the
petitioner”) alleging the responsibility of the Republic of Ecuador for the failure to prosecute
the healthcare professionals who caused injury to Mrs. Melba del Carmen Suárez Peralta, in a
surgery performed on July 1st, 2000 at the private Minchala clinic in the city of Guayaquil.
2. The petitioner alleged that the State was responsible for violating the rights to a fair trial
and judicial protection established in Articles 8 and 25 of the American Convention on Human
Rights (hereinafter the “Convention” or the “American Convention”) as they relate to the duties
to guarantee rights in accordance with Article 1.1 of the Convention. In addition, the petition
invoked the application of the exceptions to the requirement regarding the prior exhaustion of
domestic remedies, as provided in Article 46.2.a of the American Convention. For its part, the
State alleged that the petitioner’s complaints were inadmissible due to a failure to exhaust the
domestic remedies and considered the exceptions established in Article 46.2 to be
inadmissible.
3. After analyzing the positions of the parties and in compliance with the requirements
established in Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention, the Commission decided to
declare the case admissible for purposes of examining the complaint regarding the alleged
violation of Articles 8.1, and 25.1 consistent with Article 1.1 of the American Convention, to
notify the parties, and to order the publication of the report.
II.

PROCESSING BY THE COMMISSION

4. The Commission recorded the petition under number P-162-06 and on March 20, 2006
proceeded to forward copy of the relevant sections to the State so that it could submit its
observations within two months. On June 19, 2006, the State requested a 30-day extension to
submit its observations, which was granted by the Commission. On October 23, 2006, the
petitioner sent a communication referring to the expiration of the period granted to the State.
On December 1st, 2006, the Commission repeated its request for observations to the State.
5. On July
29, 2007,
forwarded
forwarded

25, 2007, the State sent its response to the Commission. In addition, on November
it sent another communication for the same purpose. Both communications were
to the petitioner, who submitted his observations on November 21, 2007, which was
to the State on December 6, 2007 for its observations.

III.

POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES

A.

The petitioner

6. The petitioner alleges that on July 1, 2000 Mrs. Melba del Carmen Suárez Peralta was
operated on by Dr. Emilio Guerrero Gutiérrez at the private Minchala clinic in the city of
Guayaquil for “possible appendicitis problems.” 1 It is alleged that three days after the surgery
and after having been discharged, the patient suffered from internal abdominal pains,
vomiting, and other complications that caused pallor, abdominal distension and anorexia.

1 Complaint submitted by Melba Peralta Mendoza to the First Tribunal of Guayas, annex to the original petition
received by the IACHR on February 23, 2006.

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