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Friday, June 19, 2009

Ecuador to sue Colombia over citizen's death

Kirsten Begg, Colombia Reports, 11 June

Ecuador will sue Colombia before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the IACHR) for the death of an Ecuadorean citizen during the Colombian army operation which led to the capture of FARC guerrilla 'Raul Reyes', BBC Mundo reported Thursday.

Ecuador claims that the death of 38 year old Ecuadorean citizen Franklin Aisalla Molina was the result of an extrajudicial execution carried out by the Colombian military.

The Colombian army claims that Reyes fled Colombian territory and into Ecuador to seek refuge in a FARC camp 1.8 kilometers from the Colombian border. They maintain that Aisalla was killed in the bombing of this camp.

However Ecuador's lawsuit maintains that there is forensic evidence that Aisalla died from "numerous blows inflicted with force to the cranium". Ecuador blames these blows on the Colombian armed forces who entered Ecuadorean territory.

Colombia's incursion on Ecuadorean land led to the breakdown of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The IACHR must evaluate if it will accept the lawsuit or not, which could take up to three years.

BBC Mundo stated that this the first time in the 50 year history of the IACHR --which as a body within the Organization of American States --that one country has attempted to sue another.

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