January 7, 2011 Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture
desk study on “The use of medical evidence
and expert opinions in international and
regional judicial mechanism and in selected
domestic jurisdictions” aims to provide an
insight into how medical evidence is viewed
and evaluated in court proceedings on alleged
torture cases today. The study looks
into the procedural rules as well as the
practice relating to evaluation of medical
evidence and expert opinions by the relevant
tribunals. The special issue further features
studies on investigations and evidence collection
in selected domestic jurisdictions
in torture cases. These studies have been
conducted in five countries from different
regions and with differing legal systems –
Ecuador, Georgia, Lebanon, The Philippines
and Uganda. In these countries the IRCT
has, for a number of years, worked with
local members and partners to promote the
value and use of medical documentation of
Our hope is that the study may serve
as a reference document for those involved
in legal cases seeking to prove allegations
of torture through the submission of medical
evidence or wishing to advocate legal
changes in this area....
February 6, 2006 Center for Contemporary Conflict // Naval Postgraduate School
Each country of the Andean Regionxe2x80x94Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuelaxe2x80x94faces its own particular set of challenges and problems. There is, however, a common set of challenges which include consolidating and deepening democratic institutions and practice, the cultivation or transit of illegal drugs, uncontrolled spaces inviting establishment of terrorist networks, and problematic relations between the armed forces and civilian government. While Ecuador is the smallest of these five countries, it embodies all of the region's problems.
In this short essay, the author will center the discussion of these problems around a focus on civil-military relations as both a cause and effect of other issues and challenges. Although Ecuador transited from military to civilian rule in 1979 after eight years of military governments, because of both the legacy of previous military rule and ongoing political instability, the military is periodically drawn into the maelstrom of politics. However, the institut#ion remains unable to reform key structures, including the National Security Council, the peak intelligence organizations, and various other structures and legal processes, nor can it be utilized effectively against the regional, non-traditional, threats of illegal drugs and terrorism....
As Democracy in Latin America points out, after a long period of oligarchic governments and military dictatorships that violently repressed popular demands and systematically violated human rights, almost all countries in the region today have legal mechanisms in place for public participation and political representation, as well as governments elected by popular vote. The same document also emphasises that these accomplishments are a great step forward towards peaceful political cohabitation among Latin Americans.
However, twenty-five years after the start of the xe2x80x98transitions to democracy' in Latin America, there has been no end to the criticism of how these #political systems are developing, since they not act in ways that meet the high expectations they once raised. They have not been successful in solving the problems dogging the region and the new concerns raised by capitalist globalisation. This is particularly true in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, countries that took their first steps towards democracy in the 1980s and now face a number of problems that are putting their accomplishments at risk....
August 12, 2005 Brown University // Watson Institute
SINCE THE MID-1990S, PRESIDENTS HAVE been removed from office or forced to resign in
the central Andean countries of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. This evolution of leadership
begs us to consider whether or not a pattern emerges from these cases, and whether
these events are an indication of future trouble for the current practice of liberal democracy
in all Latin America countries. In principle, democracy is still the best political system for the majority, but it
will not survive in most of Latin America without a significant reorientation of economic
policy and a concomitant change in U.S. policy. This does not advocate a return
to the import substitution industrialization (ISI) strategy, which clearly outgrew its
usefulness. Instead, Latin America now needs governments with strong popular support
that actively manage their economies to promote export-oriented, job-producing
growth. Moreover, Latin American governments will only attain these objectives if they
come together to work for politically responsible governance of the global economy,
focusing on the effective regulation of wages, working conditions, environmental impact,
and capital movement....
The recent removal from office of President Lucio Gutierrez of Ecuador xe2x80x94 the third Ecuadorian president removed prematurely during the past eight years xe2x80x94 underscores the growing political instability of the Andean region. With Ecuador in a state of continuing crisis, Bolivia beset by chronic anarchy, and Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo's standing in polls hovering about ten percent, the entire region is in turmoil. The reason is cultural rather than economic: the Peruvian economy is doing fairly well, high oil prices have lifted Ecuador's economy, and Bolivia sits on the second largest natural gas# deposits in Latin America.
It appears that Latin America as a whole is going through one of its periodic political shifts, with leftist regimes in power in Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay that are more or less hostile to free markets. That has happened before xe2x80x94 the last time during the 1970s, with catastrophic results.
Seven actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in September 2010, according to the latest issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch.Guinea saw increased political and ethnic divisions, exacerbated by controversies related to the presidential elections. Two days of violent clashes in the capital between rival supporters of the two presidential candidates, Alpha Conde and Cellou Diallo, left one person dead and dozens injured. Continued delays in the timing of the run-off and Diallo’s rejection of the appointment of the election commission’s new head led to further tensions between the two camps.
In Sri Lanka moves by President Rajapaksa to consolidate his power through a de facto constitutional coup transformed the political terrain. On 8 September the parliament passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which gives the President nearly unbridled power by scrapping term limits on the presidency, abolishing the Constitutional Council and allowing the President to appoint directly officials to the judiciary, police and electoral bodies.
More protesters were killed by police in Kashmir as anti-India demonstrations continued and spread to new areas, bringing the death toll from the demonstrations since June to over 100. The Indian government on 25 September announced an eight-point plan aimed at calming the situation. Separatist leaders rejected the initiative and said that protests will continue.
The situation in Burundi deteriorated as violent clashes between security forces and armed groups increased, alongside kidnappings and fatal attacks on civilians. There are increasingly credible indications that elements disgruntled with elections held earlier this year have re-established bases and taken up arms in the Rukoko and Kibira areas. However, local authorities deny that former rebels are regrouping and insist that bandits are behind the recent attacks.
The month saw a new upsurge of violence in Russia’s restive North Caucasus region, demonstrating the growing ability of guerrillas to carry out major operations. In the deadliest terrorist strike anywhere in Russia since the March subway bombings in Moscow, a suicide attack killed at least 17 at a market in the capital of North Ossetia. A spate of bold guerrilla attacks also struck security personnel and infrastructure in Dagestan. The situation in Ecuador took a dramatic turn at the end of the month when disaffected members of the police and armed forces staged a protest against proposed austerity measures, taking control of the National Assembly building and airport and laying siege to a hospital where President Correa had sought refuge. President Correa later said the revolt amounted to an attempted coup. Meanwhile, in Mozambique 13 people were killed and over 170 injured in three days of riots that took place early in the month over food and energy price increases....
December 18, 2006 Inventory of Conflict and Environment
Ecuador's attempts to develop its potentially large oil reserves in the last couple decades have been mired with conflict. Many indigenous people have fought to keep oil companies out, most recently the Sarayacu. In 1996, the Ecuadorian government signed a contract for petrol exploration in "Block 23", comprising 200 000 hectares, most of which is Sarayacu territory. This was the start of an ongoing conflict between the Sarayacu people, the government and the internation oil companies.
The Army is assisting in the peaceful settlement of the border dispute between Peru and Ecuador by providing support personnel, helicopters and US observers to Operation Safe Border. In early 1995 Peru and Ecuador engaged in sustained combat in a remote area where their common border has never been fully demarcated. Dozens were killed, hundreds wounded, and escalation to cities was feared. As Guarantors of the 1942 Rio Protocol of Peace, Friendship and Boundaries which ended the 1941 Ecuador-Peru war and defined the border, the United States, Brazil, Argentina and Chile worked for a comprehensive settlement....
Generally, truth commissions are bodies established to research and report on human rights abuses over a certain period of time in a particular country or in relation to a particular conflict. Truth commissions allow victims, their relatives and perpetrators to give evidence of human rights abuses, providing an official forum for their accounts. In most instances, truth commissions are also required by their mandate to provide r#ecommendations on steps to prevent a recurrence of such abuses.
Due to the territorial disputes between Ecuador and Peru, thousands of landmines, both anti-personnel and anti-vehicle, have been laid in Ecuador. According to the Organization of American States (OAS), Ecuador admitted to laying landmines along the border between 1995 and 1998, implicating the country of utilizing anti-personnel mines after signing the Mine Ban Treaty in 1997, but before its entry into force in 1999. The two countries resolved their territorial disputes in 1998. Since that time, both countries have been working to destroy remaining landmine stockpiles and removing existing landmines. ...
The government of Ecuador has set up a truth commission to investigate rights abuses committed in the country beginning in the early 1980s, a period that includes the 1984-88 presidency of right wing politician Lexc3xb3n Febres Cordero. The four-member commission, announced Thursday by current leftist President Rafael Correa and Interior Minister Gustavo Larrea, is comprised of a lawyer, two human rights activists, and a member who lost two sons who were apparently "disappeared" during the regime of Febres Cordero. Correa said the commission was intended to "halt impunity;" it will explore some 327 unsolved cases of disappearance, torture and political assassination. The commission follows in the wake of others recently established in Guatemala, Peru and Chile to address wrongs and abuses committed during recent "dirty wars" and harsh regimes....
In 2001, Pax Christi Netherlands published a report
about the kidnapping industry in Colombia. Seven years on, and the number of kidnappings
worldwide has risen even more. The crime has lost
nothing of its potency as a cause of human tragedy.
Kidnapping is a serious violation of the most
elementary right of mankind: the right to a dignified
existence. We set out in this report to provide a brief
summary of the kidnapping issue on a global level, in
particular of kidnapping in conflict regions and fragile
states. The questions to be answered are concerned with
the financial and political requirements that the
kidnappers set, and with the impacts of these practices
on the conflict and its perpetuation, and on the
performance of the state.
Following on from the previous report, the emphasis of
this investigation is on kidnapping and extortion in
Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Firstly, we wished to
ascertain how the kidnapping issue has developed in
these countries in the past ten years. This raised the
question of whether there was any relationship between
the kidnapping practices in Colombia, and trends in
this crime in the neighbouring countries. Another
primary question regarding Colombia was concerned
with the role of the kidnapping theme in peace talks
and other dialogue between illegal armed groups and
the Colombian government, and with the possible role
of the theme in any future peace talks.
The final chapter investigates the kidnapping-related
policies of the EU member states, and as far as possible
we compare their policies with their actions in practice
in recent years. The main question is whether there is
any European consensus on how to deal with
kidnapping, and how to suppress the phenomenon.
What obstacles are there to a joint approach to the
July 22, 2011 UN Women // United Nations Entity for Gende Equality and the Empowerment of Women
The past century has seen a transformation in women’s legal rights, with countries in every region expanding the scope of women’s legal entitlements. Nevertheless for many of the world’s women the laws that exist on paper do not translate to equality and justice.
Progress of the World’s Women: In Pursuit of Justice looks at how the legal system can play a positive role in women accessing their rights, citing cases that have changed women’s lives both at a local and at times global level. It also looks at the important role women have played and continue to play as agents for change within the legal system, as legislators, as lawyers, as community activists but also asks why, despite progress on legal reform, the justice system is still not delivering justice for all women.
The report focuses on four key areas: legal and constitutional frameworks, the justice chain, plural legal systems and conflict and post-conflict. Drawing on tangible examples of steps that have been taken to help women access justice, the report sets out ten key recommendations for policy and decision makers to act on in order to ensure every woman is able to obtain justice....
This report is the culmination of a six-month project commissioned
by the Women’s Refugee Commission and co-funded by the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to address the
rights and needs of displaced persons with disabilities, with a
particular focus on women (including older women), children and
youth. Based on field research in five refugee situations, as well as
global desk research, the Women’s Refugee Commission sought to
map existing services for displaced persons with disabilities, identify
gaps and good practices and make recommendations on how to
improve services, protection and participation for displaced persons
with disabilities. The objective of the project was to gather initial
empirical data and produce a Resource Kit that would be of
practical use to UN and nongovernmental organization (NGO) field
staff working with displaced persons with disabilities....
February 4, 2011 Comision Ecumenica de Derechos Humanos // International Federation for Human Rights // International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development
Over the past decade, a serie of social conflicts has arisen in Ecuador, as a result of the growing
presence of actors seeking to develop large-scale mining in the country. These mining
endeavors have been encouraged by legislative and economic measures put in place by national
governments and international organizations. Mining companies’ activities have led to numerous
episodes of human rights abuses, and have given rise to an important national debate on
the promotion of large-scale mining in Ecuador. During and after some protest mobilizations, there have been reports of numerous cases of
repression, judicial harassment, and criminalization targeting both social leaders and the
general population. In 2008, the National Constituent Assembly responded to this repression
by granting amnesties to participants in the protests, shelving hundreds of investigations and
criminal proceedings. The move effectively acknowledged the legitimacy of peoples’ struggles
to defend their territory and nature....
January 18, 2011 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Ecuador currently hosts the largest refugee population in South America, more than 135,000 people, some 98 per cent of them Colombians who fled from their country of origin within the last decade. Most have settled in the northern province of Sucumbíos.1 Recognizing the severity of the humanitarian and security situation in Sucumbíos, the government of Ecuador and UNHCR jointly undertook an „enhanced registration‟ exercise which regularized the status of refugees in remote and isolated regions of the country.
The project began in March 2009 and was carried out a year in every province along the northern Ecuadorian border. Using a mobile team of 50 civil servants from Ecuador‟s Government Directorate for Refugees (GDR) supported by UNHCR, the project registered and provided refugee documents to previously unregistered asylum seekers. UNHCR provided some 80 per cent of the $2 million cost of the exercise, as well as a great deal of logistical and material support in the form of computers, generators, vehicles and visibility materials.
The Enhanced Registered project is considered unprecedented for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the project was entirely transparent and had the Government of Ecuador‟s support of at all levels. Secondly, the project highlighted best-practices for developing more rigorous and structured ways to identify specific needs within regular asylum processes, reinforcing mechanisms for physical protection and identifying durable solutions for large caseloads. Finally, the project registered over 26,000 refugees and created an “entry point” into a system of human rights guarantees and legal protections for a highly vulnerable and marginalized population....