Communication 1776 (Ecuador)

1776, present in a communication dated October 3, 1973, denounces the arbitrary detention in a remote and inhospitable place , of the Ecuadorian economist, Abdón Calderón Muñoz, Director of the "Frente Radical Alfarista". Manuel Araujo Hidalgo and Francisco Huerta Montalvo were also arrested together with Mr. Muñoz. The complaint was accompanied by various documents relating to these events. "No judge or court has heard the case and no authority was involved in the final decision... the Ministry of the Interior assumed responsibility for the arrest..."

The Commission considered this case at thirty-first session (October 1973) and decided to request the Government of Ecuador to provide the pertinent information, in accordance with Articles 42 and 44 of the Regulations. It sent a note to this effect to the Government of Ecuador on December 19, 1973. This request was repeated on June 3, 1974, pursuant to a decision taken at the thirty-second session of the Commission (April 1974). In a letter dated May 2, the complainant was informed of the status of the case.

For its part the Government of Ecuador, through the Ambassador Representative to the OAS, in a note dated June 12, 1974, requested, under paragraph 2 of Article 51 of the Rules of Procedure of the CIDH, a 180-day extension on the period of time provided for under that article in order to transmit the appropriate information, in view of the fact that Government was studying the possibility of granting amnesty to political prisoners. With respect to the status of Mr. Abdón Calderón Muñoz, it reported that he had been released in mid-October 1973.

The Commission granted the Government of Ecuador a 120-day extension, a decision communicated to the Government through the Mission of Ecuador to the OAS in a note dated June 27, 1974.

During the thirty-fourth session (October 1974) the Commission examined the status of case 19776, aware that the Government of Ecuador would request an additional extension for presentation of this information. It decided to hold the case in abeyance until it formerly received the request in question, and authorized the Chairman to adopt such measures as he deems appropriate. In effect, the Government of Ecuador, in a note dated November 4, 1974, requested an additional extension of 120-days for presentation of the information on the case.

In a note of December 19, 1974, the Commission reported to the Representative of Ecuador to the OAS that request had been granted.[2]

In a note dated February 18, 1975, the Government of Ecuador again addressed the CIDH repeating the preliminary information given in that note sent on October 25, 1974, cited, according to which Mr. Abdón Calderón Muñoz had been released in mid-October 1973. It also reported that "there were no political prisoners in Ecuador in December of that year".

The Commission continued examination of the case during its thirty-fifth session (May 1975) together with the information provided by the Government of Ecuador, and in view of the fact that the claimant had not formulated observations on that information (which was brought to his attention on February 25, 1975) it decided to file the case. This decision was brought to the attention of the Government of Ecuador on July 11, 1975.