Ecuador Proceeds With Historic Rights Abuse Case Against Former Officers
November 9, 2015 By Staff
Top Story — Five former Ecuadorian military officers and an ex-police officer will face charges of human rights abuses as the country’s first-ever trial for crimes against humanity begins today, reported the newspaper La Nación. The case concerns human rights violations committed against three leftist guerrillas between 1985 and 1988 during the presidency of León Febres Cordero. The trial is the result of a truth commission set up by President Rafael Correa in 2007.
Luis Vaca, Susana Cajas and Javier Jarrín, all members of the Alfaro Vive Carajo guerrilla group, reportedly endured physical and psychological torture and sexual abuse after being detained without a warrant by members of the military on Nov. 10 1985. Cajas and Jarrín spent 15 days in detention, while Vaca remained incarcerated for three years.
Officers were first arrested in connection with the case in 2013.
Incidences of torture and extrajudicial killings, among other human rights abuses, spiked during the Febres administration, according to a 1988 report by Americas Watch, which denounced the administration of then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan for turning a blind eye to the abuses in its support for Febres’ market-oriented government. Before his death in 2008, Febres decried the human rights commission set up by Correa as an “inquisitional tribunal.”
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