Constitutional Court of Ecuador temporarily suspends the progressive use of military force

Days ago, the Defense Minister insisted that any structure on the progressive, rational and differentiated use of force is protected by international law.

The Constitutional Court decided on June 24, 2020 to admit the claim for unconstitutionality of the ministerial agreement that regulates the progressive use of force by the Armed Forces during protests in Ecuador.

The Constitutional Court, made up of the constitutional judges Karla Andrade, Teresa Nuques and Daniela Salazar, accepted this lawsuit filed by the human rights groups Cedhu and Surkuna.

In addition, it resolved to suspend the validity of ministerial agreement No. 179 of the Ministry of Defense published in the Official Registry on May 29, 2020 until the Plenary of the Constitutional Court makes a decision.

The court also decided to add case No.33-20-IN to this demand, which is another unconstitutional action to the ministerial agreement that the Court admitted and that was presented by the Acción Popular Jurídica Popular group.

The contested agreement is on the “Regulations for the Progressive, Rational, and Differentiated Use of Force by Members of the Armed Forces” in situations of internal social resistance, which contemplates the progressive use of force by levels, until reaching the “Aggravated aggressive resistance”, which allows the use of lethal weapons.

In June, Defense Minister Oswaldo Jarrín justified the issuance of the Ministerial Agreement saying that the progressive use of weapons is protected by international human rights organizations.

The National Assembly, Presidency of the Republic and the Ministry of Defense will have 15 days to defend or challenge the constitutionality of this demanded norm.

Instead, the legislature has 8 days to deliver the documents that gave rise to the Public and State Security Law and its subsequent reforms.

While the Ministry of Defense also has 8 days to send the documents that gave rise to the Ministerial Agreements, September 272, 2014, and May 179, 2020

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