Truth Commission: Truth Commission to Impede Impunity
Duration:  2007 - 2009
Charter: Ministerial Accord No. 305
Commissioners: 4
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.

Report: The Commission published its report on June 7, 2010.  The full text of the report is available on the Commission’s website.



  • 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 (accessed September 21, 2008).

CRE Satelital Ecuador. "Presidente Recibió Informe De La Comisión De La Verdad." July 1, 2008. Available at (accessed September 21, 2008).

"Ecuador: Descartan Que Denuncias De Tortura Sean Políticas." NewsOK - the Associated Press, September 9, 2008. Available at (accessed September 21, 2008).

"Revelan Centros De Tortura De Años 80 En Ecuador." Telemetro.Com Panama, September 8, 2008. Available at (accessed September 21, 2008).

"Se Anuncia Informe Final Sobre Torturas." El Universo, September 8, 2008, c. Available at (accessed September 21, 2008).


Related Publications

Security and Justice in Post-Revolution Libya

Security and Justice in Post-Revolution Libya

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

By: Fiona Mangan; Christina Murtaugh with support from Ferdaouis Bagga

Three years after the death of Muammar Qaddafi and the end of the revolution in Libya, security and justice are stalled and elusive despite the proliferation of security providers. The power of the gun prevails over the rule of law. Many see no end in sight. Based on a nationwide survey and drawn from interviews and focus group sessions, this report—supported by the USIP and the Small Arms Survey—tracks security and justice in Libya from before the revolution through today, its realities, and...

Justice in Transition in Yemen

Justice in Transition in Yemen

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

By: Erica Gaston with Nadwa al-Dawsari

This research is part of a three-year United States Institute of Peace (USIP) project that explores how Yemen’s rule of law and local justice and security issues have been affected in the post-Arab Spring transition period. A complement to other analytical and thematic pieces, this large-scale mapping provides data on factors influencing justice provision in half of Yemen’s governorates. Its goal is to support more responsive programming and justice sector reform. Field research was managed b...

Civil Defense Groups

Civil Defense Groups

Thursday, July 31, 2014

By: Bruce “Ossie” Oswald

More than three hundred defense groups provide security to local communities in states around the world. While it is true that such groups can be a resource-efficient means for states to provide law and order to their communities, it is also true that they can worsen security.

Women's Access to Justice in Afghanistan

Women's Access to Justice in Afghanistan

Thursday, July 17, 2014

By: Erica Gaston; Tim Luccaro

Since the fall of the Taliban in 2002, gains in women’s rights and access to justice in Afghanistan have been remarkable, yet women’s rights remain extremely limited. How do women in Afghanistan seek justice when their rights are violated? What barriers do they face in pursuing justice or receiving a fair outcome? This report draws on interviews and focus group discussions held in Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012 to determine answers to these and related questions and to recommend ways forward. ...


View All Publications