REPORT No. 75/11
CASE 12.683
MERITS
MELBA DEL CARMEN SUAREZ PERALTA
ECUADOR
July 20, 2011

I.

SUMMARY

1.
On February 23, 2006, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter
“the Commission” or “the IACHR”) received a petition lodged by Jorge Sosa Meza (hereinafter “the
petitioner”) alleging the responsibility of the Republic of Ecuador (hereinafter “the State” or “Ecuador”) for
failing to prosecute the health professionals who incurred in medical malpractice with respect to Melba del
Carmen Suárez Peralta (hereinafter “the victim” or “Ms. Suárez Peralta”) during surgery performed on
July 1, 2000, at the Clínica Minchala, a private clinic in the city of Guayaquil.
2.
The petitioner claimed that the State was responsible for violating the rights to a fair trial
and to judicial protection established in Articles 8 and 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights
(hereinafter “the Convention” or “the American Convention”), in conjunction with the obligation of
respecting those rights established in Article 1.1 thereof. In turn, the State claimed that it had not violated
the rights referred to by the petitioner since it provided appropriate remedies, respected the guarantee of
reasonable time, and statutory limitations were triggered in the case because the victims had failed to
pursue the available remedies.
3.
On October 30, 2008, the Commission adopted Report No. 85/08, in which it concluded
that it was competent to hear the petition and found that it was admissible for the possible violation of the
rights enshrined in Articles 8.1 and 25.1 of the American Convention, in conjunction with Article 1.1
thereof.
4.
After analyzing the positions of the parties, the Commission concluded that the State of
Ecuador is responsible for violating the rights to a fair trial and to judicial protection enshrined in Articles 8
and 25 of the American Convention, in conjunction with the obligations established in Article 1.1, with
respect to Melba del Carmen Suárez Peralta and to her mother, Melba Peralta Mendoza. In addition, the
IACHR issued the corresponding recommendations.
II.

PROCESSING BY THE COMMISSION FOLLOWING THE ADMISSIBILITY REPORT
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5.
On October 30, 2008, the IACHR issued Admissibility Report No. 85/08. On January 7,
2009, the Commission notified the parties of that report, informed them that the case had been registered
as No. 12.683, and, under Article 38.1 of the Rules of Procedure then in force, set a two-month deadline
for the petitioners to submit additional comments on the merits. In addition, in compliance with Article
48.1.f of the Convention, the Commission made itself available to the parties with a view to reaching a
friendly settlement in the matter. On February 26, 2009, the IACHR sent the parties an erratum regarding
Report No. 85/08.
6.
On April 13, 2009, the petitioner submitted his comments on the merits, which were
forwarded to the State on April 14, 2009, with a deadline of two months for it to return its comments. The
State sent its reply on August 20, 2009, which was forwarded to the petitioner for his comments by means
of a note dated August 27. On September 28, 2009, the petitioner submitted his response, which was
conveyed to the State for its comments on October 2, 2009. The Commission noted that in that
communication the State had offered to reach a friendly settlement but that the offer was not accepted.
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2008.

IACHR, Report No. 85/08 (Admissibility), Petition 162-06, Melba del Carmen Suárez Peralta, Ecuador, October 30,

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