Ecuador: Killers of Consuelo Benavides may escape conviction and punishment
Consuelo Benavides was detained by Ecuadorian marines in December 1985 and allegedly extrajudicially executed. In August 1995 the trial of some of those implicated in her death was opened before the Supreme Court of Justice. However, the trial may be closed prior to reaching a verdict and those alleged to be implicated in the death of Consuelo Benavides may never be convicted and punished. This is because, under Ecuadorian law, murder cases not resolved within ten years of the committing of the crime can be closed by the courts. This case has become a test-case in the struggle for the defence of human rights in Ecuador. AI would be dismayed if those responsible for the death of Consuelo Benavides were not convicted and punished. This would help consolidate the deep sense of impunity which surrounds the vast majority of unresolved human rights violations in Ecuador.