WASHINGTON – Ecuador’s Attorney General Diego Garcia Carrion has said his country’s government, led by President Rafael Correa, would continue to refrain from sending representatives to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) hearings until it stops treating specific cases during thematic hearings.
During an interview with Efe on Thursday, Garcia Carrion defended the Ecuadorean government’s decision to skip the IACHR hearing last week for the third time this year, in Washington.
“I believe that the IACHR, more than regret Ecuador’s absence, should correct its proceedings,” said the attorney general.
The IACHR hearings on Oct. 27 focused on the human rights of indigenous people in Ecuador as well as the independence of the judiciary, but Garcia Carrion claimed that they were used to deal with specific cases such as the Yasini petroleum exploration plan.
“The IACHR regulations say that thematic hearings are for dealing with general issues in the country,” the attorney said.
If the IACHR wants to treat specific cases, it has to process the petitions and summon Ecuador separately in each one of the petitions, he argued and explained that his country has repeatedly conveyed its position to the Commission.
“What Ecuador is asking,” he said, “is that the Commission follows the procedures that have been agreed upon. Though this is not a judicial proceeding, it is a pre-judicial one because what is discussed in the Commission could land up at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.”
Ecuador complains of the IACHR being biased against it and calls for moving its headquarters to a country, which unlike the United States, has ratified the American Convention on Human Rights.
“Ecuador is not fighting the system to destroy it,” he said, referring to the Inter-American human rights system.
“It wants to ensure that the system is corrected from within, by the countries who have signed the treaty, in a manner that we can have a system that can be considered trustworthy and loyal to its own convention as well as international norms,” he added.