In Ecuador, CJA led two trainings for investigators and prosecutors on how to investigate, build evidence, secure testimony, and prosecute international human rights crimes to address abuses under the government of Leon Febres Cordero.
CJA helped draft a training manual and advised on the prosecution of several members of the national police intelligence force for the 1984 torture and assassination of Damian Peña, a young student leader. Since 2012, CJA has been providing technical legal assistance to the Attorney General’s human rights prosecutors unit for investigations and cases related to these crimes in Ecuador.
CJA was also crucial in preparing the first torture case against 10 high-level police officers who were indicted in September 2013 in Quito for the torture of Luis Vaca and Susana Cajas, two political dissidents. We continue to support the Ecuadoran human rights prosecutors unit in the investigation of two high profile cases, specifically the abduction of Santiago and Andres Restrepo – two young boys who were kidnapped and tortured by police officers in 1988 – and the case for the intentional plane crash that killed former democratically elected Ecuadorian president Jaime Roldos.
These human rights crimes occurred under the rule of Leon Febres Cordero and were initially reported by the Ecuadorian Truth Commission. The Truth Commission concluded that between 1984 and 1988with the acquiescence of the army and the security forces, the government committed crimes against humanity, including these findings: 269 Ecuadorians were arbitrarily detained; 365 tortured; 86 sexually assaulted; 17 forcibly disappeared; 68 extrajudicially killed; and 26 attempted to be killed. Most of these crimes were committed by members of Ecuador’s National Police. CJA is continuing to assist in ensuring that the truth and dignity of those who suffered crimes against humanity is validated.