EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 28/05/93
UA 167/93 Possible Extrajudicial Execution 21 May 1993
ECUADOR: Orestes CAÑOLA
Amnesty International is concerned about reports of people who have died in
the custody of the Ecuadorean security forces. Many of the reported victims
are said to have been suspected of committing petty crimes or of having engaged
in personal fights with members of the police. There are only a few known cases
in which those responsible were brought to justice.
Most recently Amnesty International has learned of the reported death of Orestes
Cañola, Enrique Cañola and Fredy Cañola in circumstances suggesting their
According to reports, on the night of 12 April 1993, a fight broke out in Viche,
Esmeraldas province, as a result of which a policeman, Orestes Cañola and his
nephew Fredy were wounded. The policeman was taken away to receive medical
attention and the Cañolas went home. A few hours later the policeman died.
Shortly afterwards, Orestes, his brother Enrique and Fredy were reportedly
detained at their homes by members of the police who drove them to the police
station of Viche. According to reports, the detainees were later put on a vehicle
to be transferred to the city of Esmeraldas. However they never arrived at
the police station in Esmeraldas and their bodies, reportedly with signs of
bullet wounds and bruising, were found at the morgue in Esmeraldas.
Amnesty International urges the authorities to conduct full and independent
inquiries into the circumstances, manner and cause of death of the three victims,
to make public their findings and that those found responsible be brought to
International standards approved by United Nations bodies, address the issue
of law enforcement and the use of force and firearms. These standards are
contained in the Code for Law Enforcement Officials, adopted by the General
Assembly of the United Nations (UN) in 1979 and the Basic Principles on the
Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, adopted by consensus
at the Eighth UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of
Offenders in 1990. The UN has urged all members states to incorporate these
standards in their national legislation and rules of procedures.
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