Press Release

IACHR Announces the publication of Friendly Settlement Reports Nos. 81/20, 82/20, and 83/20 on cases 11.626 A, B, and C, Fredy Oreste Cañola Valencia, Luis Enrique Cañola Valencia, and Santo Enrique Cañola Gonzales, Concerning Ecuador

June 17, 2020

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Report No. 83/20, Case 11.626 C, Santo Enrique Cañola Gonzáles

Report No. 82/20, Case 11.626 B, Luis Enrique Cañola Valencia

Report No. 81/20, Case 11.626 A, Fredy Oreste Cañola Valencia

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announced its decision to approve the friendly settlement of Cases 11.626 A, Fredy Oreste Cañola Valencia; 11.626 B, Luis Enrique Cañola Valencia, and 11.626 C, Santo Enrique Cañola González, which was signed on June 11, 1999, between the representatives of the victims and the state of Ecuador.

On November 7, 1994, the IACHR received a petition from the Ecumenical Council of Human Rights (CEDHU), which alleged that the state of Ecuador was internationally responsible for events relating to the arrest, disappearance, and subsequent extrajudicial execution of Fredy Oreste Cañola Valencia, Luis Enrique Cañola Valencia, and Santo Cañola González by Ecuadorian police agents. The petitioning party alleged that on April 12, 1993, the victims were detained by police officers, allegedly because they had been involved in the death of a police agent. After their arrest, they were allegedly taken to Viche and subsequently to Esmeraldas, where their lifeless bodies were found two hours later in the city cemetery with signs of torture and bullet wounds.

The three friendly settlement agreements included a declaratory clause acknowledging the state’s responsibility, a financial compensation clause, and a clause concerning the punishment of those responsible. In its friendly settlement reports, the IACHR deemed that the compensation clauses had been fully complied with but found that those relating to the investigation of events had not.

In this analysis, the IACHR took into account the petitioning party’s request for approval of the friendly settlement agreements and its request for supervision of the agreements to cease and for these to be archived. Consequently, the IACHR deemed it inappropriate to continue supervising the implementation of the agreements. To this end, the IACHR applied the concept of withdrawal and archiving established in articles 41 and 42 of the Rules of Procedure of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, taking into account the desire expressed by the petitioning party and the fact that the monitoring mechanism for friendly settlement agreements requires the active involvement of both parties.

The IACHR urged the state of Ecuador to create public policy on friendly settlements and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and to comply with its obligations to investigate and punish those responsible for human rights violations, in compliance with the decisions of the organs of the Inter-American System of Human Rights. The IACHR invited the state of Ecuador to continue to use the friendly settlement mechanism in cases concerning the country that are currently being processed through the petition and case system.

Friendly Settlement Report No. 81/20 on Case 11.626 A is available here. Friendly Settlement Report No. 82/20 on Case 11.626 B is available here. Friendly Settlement Report No. 83/20 on Case 11.626 C is available here.

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. 139/20