IACHR Congratulates the State of Ecuador for Its Full Compliance with the Friendly Settlement Agreement Concerning Case 12,957—Luis Bolívar Hernández Peñaherrera

September 21, 2022

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to declare full compliance with friendly settlement report 167/18, concerning Case 12,957—Luis Bolívar Hernández Peñaherrera, Ecuador—and will stop monitoring it.

The case concerns the international responsibility of the Ecuadorian State for alleged violations of the rights held in Articles 8 (fair trial), 13 (freedom of thought and expression), 24 (equal protection), and 25 (judicial protection) of the American Convention on Human Rights against Mr. Hernández Peñaherrera. In the assessment process to determine his promotion to the military rank of brigadier general, he was denied the promotion for allegedly being "unsuitable," in compliance with all legal requirements. This prevented him from pursuing his military career further, but the authorities in charge of this decision failed to explain the reasons why he had been deemed "unsuitable" for this promotion. The petitioner said this was in fact a form of retaliation against him for promoting the entry of female officers into land forces. He also said he had no access to adequate, effective ways to know the reasons that led to him being denied this promotion or to request a review of this decision.

On September 24, 2018, the parties signed a friendly settlement agreement that was approved by the IACHR on December 21, 2018. During the process to verify the implementation of this friendly settlement agreement, the Commission assessed action taken by the Ecuadorian State to ensure compliance with the commitments it had made in the agreement. The Commission found that the State had acknowledged its responsibility for these events, granted Mr. Hernández Peñaherrera a monthly pension and the rank of brigadier general, and ordered his release from military duty and granted him effective access to the benefits he was entitled to in terms of military social security.

The Inter-American Commission closely followed the implementation of the friendly settlement that was agreed in this case. The IACHR highly commended both parties on their efforts in negotiations and, later, during the monitoring stage of the friendly settlement agreement. Based on information provided by the parties during the monitoring process, the Commission declared that full compliance had been attained, and consequently ended its supervision of compliance with this friendly settlement agreement.

The Commission commends the Ecuadorian State on its efforts to achieve the full implementation of this agreement. The IACHR further congratulates the petitioning party for all its efforts to contribute to improving the friendly settlement procedure.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 210/22

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