IPU Logo-middleInter-Parliamentary Union  
IPU Logo-bottomChemin du Pommier 5, C.P. 330, CH-1218 Le Grand-Saconnex/Geneva, Switzerland  

Resolution adopted unanimously by the Governing Council
at its 177th session (Geneva, 19th October 2005)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to 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 who were murdered on 17 February 1999, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/177/11(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 176th session (April 2005),

Taking account of the letter from the President of the National Congress dated 13 June 2005 stating the commitment of the National Congress to close cooperation with the Committee; and also taking account of a communication from Deputy Andrés Páez Benalcazar, Permanent Delegate of the Inter-Parliamentary Group of Ecuador, dated 9 September 2005 forwarding a report of the Special Commission of Inquiry (CEI) on the judicial proceedings in this case,

Further taking account of the information provided on 7 July and 9 September 2005 by the CEI, which was set up by the Government to help elucidate this crime,

Recalling the following: on 23 October 2003, the President of the High Court of Quito declared open the full trial proceedings, during which the guilt or otherwise of the suspects must be determined, and accused Mr. Washington Fernando Aguirre, Mr. Cristián Steven Ponce, Mr. Freddy Contreras Luna, Mr. Martínez Arbeláez (alias "Milanta" or "Skipper Germán Sánchez"), and Mr. Gil Ayerve (alias "Henry") of being the presumed instigators and perpetrators of the crime, and Mr. Merino as an accessory, and ordered their arrest and detention. With the exception of Mr. Contreras, who is in detention in relation to another murder, none has been arrested so far, Mr. Aguirre, Mr. Ponce and Mr. Sergey Pervoushiña Merino having been released from detention in early 2001; the President of the High Court ordered a stay of proceedings against Mr. Lenín Ordóñez, Mr. Cevallos Gómez and Mr. Bravo Mera and the dismissal of proceedings for want of evidence against all the police officers suspected of involvement in the crime,

Considering the following developments: on appeal against this decision, the First Penal Chamber of the High Court of Quito amended the accusation on 20 December 2004 with the effect that Mr. Merino is now accused of being an accessory and the proceedings against the suspected police officers are no longer dismissed, but only stayed (sobreseimiento provisional). On 10 February 2005, the President of the Court declared open, for a period of 10 days, the evidence-taking period (término de prueba) during which the prosecuting party (parte acusadora) requested the taking of certain evidence. On 2 May 2005, the judge declared the closure of the full trial proceedings, and invited the parties to present their summing-up. On 13 May 2005, the President of the Court granted the request of the CEI that Mr. Contreras be identified by the only eyewitness of the murder, and this measure was scheduled for 12 July 2005,

Considering that, by letter dated 28 June 2005, the Minister of the Interior asked the CEI to deliver its final report within 20 days, and noting in this respect that on 24 May 2005 the CEI requested a meeting with the Minister but subsequently received no reply,

Recalling that on 22 February 2002, the day after its adviser, Mr. Andocilla, submitted the CEI's report to Congress, he was kidnapped, beaten up and left unconscious, and that an investigation into that attack is under way but has not yet revealed whether it was related to Mr. Andocilla's presentation of the CEI's report,

Recalling that the Government, notwithstanding a resolution of the National Congress adopted in October 2000, has done nothing to decide on the amounts of the pensions for the families of the victims, or to pay such pensions,

  1. Thanks the President of the National Congress for his commitment to cooperation; and also thanks Mr. Páez Benalcazar for forwarding the CEI's report;

  2. Notes that the full trial phase of the case was completed more than six months ago and that the verdict was to be handed down after presentation by the parties of their summing-up (pleadings); is therefore confident that the judgement will be handed down shortly, and would appreciate receiving a copy of it once it;

  3. Trusts that the judge in the case has completed the remaining evidence-taking at the request of the CEI and will take due account of the material gathered by, or at the suggestion of, the CEI; and would like to receive information as to whether the proceedings have revealed the motives of the suspects;

  4. Remains concerned that, except for Mr. Contreras, none of the accused persons is at the disposal of the judicial authorities, particularly since Mr. Aguirre, Mr. Ponce and Mr. Merino were released from detention in early 2001, and apparently nothing has been done to ensure that they remain at the disposal of the judicial authorities;

  5. Would appreciate receiving information on the conditions which have to be met in order for the judge to resume the stayed proceedings against the other persons, most of whom are police officers;

  6. Reaffirms that the National Congress has a particular responsibility to ensure that justice is done in the case of a murder of its members; calls therefore once again on Congress to ensure that the CEI can continue its work until a final judgement has established the facts in this case, and to urge the competent government authorities to act without further delay on the request to grant pensions to the families of the victims;

  7. Would be grateful to receive updated information on the state of the investigation into the attack on Mr. Andocilla, including whether a link has been established between that event and his work for the CEI;

  8. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the authorities and to the CEI, inviting them to provide the requested information;

  9. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held during the 114th IPU Assembly (May 2006).

Note: you can download a complete electronic version of the brochure "Results of the 113th IPU Assembly and related meetings in PDF format (file size 653K approximately ). This version requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you can download free of charge.Get Acrobat Reader