CASE N° EC/02 - Jaime Hurtado González
CASE N° EC/03 - Pablo Vicente Tapia Farinango

Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council
at its 166th session (Amman, 6 May 2000)

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Referring to the outline of the case of Mr. Jaime Ricaurte Hurtado González and Mr. Pablo Vicente Tapia Farinango, a member and substitute member, respectively, of the National Congress of Ecuador, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/166/16(c)­R.1), and to the relevant resolution adopted at its 165th session (October 1999),

Recalling the following information on file:

  • On 17 February 1999, Mr. Jaime Ricaurte Hurtado González and Mr. Pablo Vicente Tapia Farinango, both belonging to the opposition Movimiento Popular Democrático (MPD), and Mr. Wellington Borja Nazareno, a legislative services assistant working with the National Congress, were shot dead shortly after leaving the morning plenary sitting of the National Congress; police arrested several persons supposedly implicated in the killing; the preliminary police investigation report, made public by the President of the Republic only two days after the murder, relied heavily on the statement made by one of the suspects, Washington Aguirre, a police informant, and concluded that the motive for the killing was Jaime Hurtado's links with the Colombian guerrilla movement and his intention to set up a guerrilla group in Ecuador; proceedings were opened by the Second Criminal Court of Pichincha and the case was later referred to Quito District High Court and the Supreme Court, remaining for 10 months without a judge assigned to it;
  • On 25 February 1999 the Government set up a Special Commission of Inquiry to establish the facts of the case; on 20 April 1999 the Commission issued an information bulletin in which it described the findings of the police report as “fabricated, incomplete and contradictory”; moreover, the Commission reported having encountered a series of obstacles in carrying out its work,

Recalling that it took favourable note of the Special Commission's wish that the Inter-Parliamentary Union should send a mission to the country; considering that, the authorities having agreed to such a mission, Committee member Juan Pablo Letelier carried out this mission from 17 to 20 April 2000; that he was able to meet with all parties concerned, authorities and sources alike,

Considering the following points emerging from his oral report to the Committee: (i) the case has now been assigned to a judge after having been at a standstill for almost a year owing to competence conflicts, and the judge is conducting the investigation with all necessary diligence; (ii) the investigations have tended to discard the version of the facts and conclusions contained in the first police report, and are now following other lines of inquiry based on the assumption that the decision to kill Mr. Hurtado was taken in Ecuador and not in Colombia; (iii) the new Government authorities have expressed their will to support the work of the Special Commission of Inquiry and the judicial investigation,

  1. Expresses its gratitude to the Ecuadorian authorities and in particular to the President of the National Congress for hosting the mission and making every effort to facilitate its task; also thanks all other parties with whom Mr. Letelier met, including the members of the Special Commission of Inquiry, for the information provided and for their assistance and cooperation;
  2. Notes with satisfaction that the investigations into this murder are now under way, and is confident that they will follow due process of law;
  3. Trusts that the National Congress will closely follow the murder proceedings and give active support to the judicial investigation and to the Special Commission of Inquiry, and would appreciate information as to any steps taken to this effect;
  4. Would appreciate information as to the competence of the National Congress to take legal action on behalf of its two members assassinated;
  5. Requests the Secretary General to convey this decision to the appropriate authorities, the sources and the Special Commission of Inquiry, inviting them to keep the Committee informed of progress in the relevant investigation;
  6. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session (October 2000).

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