Truth Commission: Truth Commission to Impede Impunity
Duration: 2007 - 2009
Charter: Ministerial Accord No. 305
Report: Public report in 2010.
Truth Commission: Truth Commission to Impede Impunity (Comisión de la Verdad para impedir la impunidad)
Dates of Operation: May 3, 2007 – September 2009 (2 years, 4 months)
Background: Ecuador returned from military to presidential rule in 1979, but a pattern of authoritarian human rights abuses continued. Between 1984 and 1988, President León Febres Cordero’s government led repressive campaigns against student and social movements that opposed his rule. Arbitrary detentions, torture, extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances were widespread.
An initial truth commission charged with investigating abuses, the "Truth and Justice Commission" (1996) disbanded without finishing its work. In 2007, current President Rafael Correa set up a second ”Truth Commission to Impede Impunity”. Article 1 of the new commission’s mandate specifies that the commission investigates particularly those abuses that occurred during Febres Cordero's administration (1984-1988).
Charter: President Rafael Correa Delgado created the Commission by Ministerial Accord No. 305 on May 3, 2007; co-signed by the Minister of Internal and External Security Policy and the Minister of Finance.
Mandate: The Truth Commission to Impede Impunity’s mandate is to investigate, clarify, and impede impunity with respect to human rights abuses perpetrated between 1984 and 1988 and "other periods". The commission was also empowered to acknowledge victims, design a reparations program, make recommendations for institutional reforms, and determine who was responsible for abuses.
Commissioners and Structure: The Truth Commission to Impede Impunity was composed of four members appointed by the President: three men and one woman. It included two human rights activists, one lawyer, and the parent of two persons who were disappeared in 1988. It was chaired by Sister Elsie Monge and was supported by a Committee composed of relatives of victims, human rights activists and a representative of the Executive.
- Grave human rights abuses during the León Febres Cordero administration were committed pursuant to a systematic and generalized policy of State-sponsored terrorism. Abuses included extrajudicial executions, torture, arbitrary detentions, and sexual violence.
- The Commission found that the government intentionally overstated the threat posed by subversive groups.
- Subsequent administrations between 1988 and 2008 also violated human rights.
- The Commission identified that 456 individuals were victims of a range of human rights violations including extrajudicial executions, torture, and sexual violence during the 24 year period under examination.
- In total, the Commission made 155 recommendations centered on satisfaction, restitution, rehabilitation, compensation and guarantees of non-repetition.
- The Commission recommended the establishment of an administrative reparations program as well as mechanisms to ensure the investigation, prosecution, and punishment of the perpetrators.
- The final report contained a draft law on victim’s reparations and the follow-up to the Commission’s recommendations (see Vol. 5, Part 4). This draft law was submitted to the parliament on June 8, 2010.
- The Commission provided the judicial authorities with the names of 458 individuals allegedly responsible for crimes against humanity and recommended judicial investigations and trials.
Comisión De La Verdad. "Ni Silencio Ni Impunidad." Available at http://www.coverdad.org.ec/ (accessed September 21, 2008).
CRE Satelital Ecuador. "Presidente Recibió Informe De La Comisión De La Verdad." July 1, 2008. Available at http://www.cre.com.ec/Desktop.aspx?Id=143&e=114582 (accessed September 21, 2008).
"Ecuador: Descartan Que Denuncias De Tortura Sean Políticas." NewsOK - the Associated Press, September 9, 2008. Available at http://newsok.com/article/3295233?mp=1 (accessed September 21, 2008).
"Revelan Centros De Tortura De Años 80 En Ecuador." Telemetro.Com Panama, September 8, 2008. Available at http://www.telemetro.com/inter/2008/09/08/nota19331.html (accessed September 21, 2008).
"Se Anuncia Informe Final Sobre Torturas." El Universo, September 8, 2008, c. Available at http://www.eluniverso.com/2008/09/08/0001/8/6195DEB6B59147198B6F98A9B21C38A4.html (accessed September 21, 2008).