THE COURT FINDS NO VIOLATIONS OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS FOR FAILING TO PROTECT WOMEN WHO WERE HARASSED AND ATTACKED, CULMINATING IN RAPE. THE COURT FOUND THAT THE AUTHORITIES HAD SATISFIED THE PROCEDURAL HURDLES AND THEREFORE REJECTED THE WOMEN’S CLAIM FOR REPARATIONS.
Date: 7 January 2011
Judges: Christian Recalde
The plaintiffs filed a case against the District Prosecution Office of Pichincha, Quito and the Judicial Police for violations of their constitutional rights due to lack of due diligence on part of the State agents. The first plaintiff was harassed and threatened over the course of a year and a half after complaining that aggressors had threatened the life of her partner and attacked him. Despite the fact that she was subsequently threatened with fire arms and attacked, the police failed to give her any protection and the prosecution did not place her on a witness protection scheme. Instead, they informed her that she should investigate the crime herself. She was then drugged and raped on a separate incident. The second plaintiff was also drugged and raped in similar circumstances. She was also not placed on the witness protection program or offered other forms of protection after filing a criminal compliant.
The women sought reparations and recognition of the violations of their fundamental constitutional rights due to the lack of due diligence on the part of State agents, including their rights to physical and psychological integrity and access to justice.
The Judge found that the State was not responsible for the violations of their constitutional rights since the Prosecution analysed the cases for placement in a victim protection program and rejected them. Therefore, procedurally they had carried out the requisite steps under the law. The Judge stated that people must take into account that it is not always possible for judicial authorities to comply with established legal timeframes and therefore delays in justice may be justified. The Judge also found that that the women had not properly requested placement in the program and therefore, their rights were not violated.
This decision is under appeal and currently pending before the Provincial Court of Pichincha. Precautionary measures have also been requested before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights.