Press Release

IACHR takes case involving Ecuador to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

April 11, 2018

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) filed an application before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (I/A Court H.R.) in Case 12,197, Ramón Rosendo Carranza Alarcón, with regard to Ecuador.

The case deals with the unlawful and arbitrary detention of Mr. Ramón Rosendo Carranza Alarcón by State agents in November 1994, as well as with his unreasonably long pretrial detention in the framework of an investigation that led to his criminal prosecution for murder. The IACHR concluded that both the applicable norms and the decisions adopted on the basis thereof were arbitrary and, therefore, incompatible with the American Convention. The Commission further considered that his pretrial detention, which lasted more than four years, exceeded any reasonable criteria. Finally, the IACHR concluded that the Ecuadorian State violated his right to be tried within a reasonable time, since the criminal proceedings lasted five years and four months.

In the Merits Report, the Commission recommended that Ecuador provide comprehensive reparation to Mr. Ramón Rosendo Carranza Alarcón through measures that included material and nonpecuniary damages for the violations that were established; and adopt the necessary measures to ensure that both the applicable norms and the respective practices in relation to pretrial detention were compatible with the standards established in the Merits Report.

The Inter-American Commission submitted the case to the Court’s jurisdiction on March 29, 2018, in the understanding that Ecuador had failed to comply with the recommendations held in the Merits Report.

This case will allow the Court to deepen its jurisprudence on pretrial detention, regarding the reasons that may justify it, how long it may last and the need to review it periodically. Further, the case will enable the continued development of Inter-American standards on due process, particularly reasonable time guarantees.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 081/18