Former Ecuadorian police commander arrested in the U.S.; accused of kidnapping and torturing protesters in 1985

Jan 29, 2014

Police in the United States have arrested former Ecuadorean police commander Edgar Vaca, who is accused of human rights abuses.

The interior minister in Quito issued a statement saying that the retired general was arrested in Washington and will be extradited to Ecuador.

chl vaca1Vaca and nine other officers have been accused of kidnapping and torturing three left-wing rebel in 1985. He denies all the charges.

An international arrest order had been issued for Vaca. He was detained on Monday at the request of Interpol, but the news was only confirmed by the Ecuadorean government on Wednesday.

The alleged violations were committed under the government of late President Leon Febres Cordero, who was in power from 1984 to 1988.

The three victims, Susana Cajas, Javier Jarrin and Luis Vaca, were detained in November 1985 for alleged links to an underground opposition group, the Eloy Alfaro Popular Armed Forces. “They were tortured, beaten, and submitted to particularly sadistic forms of torture, including electric shocks to their genitals,” said chief prosecutor Galo Chiriboga.

In October, they gave details of their ordeal at a landmark trial in Quito, attended by Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino and human rights activists from across Latin America.

Chiriboga requested the arrest of 10 retired police and army officers, including Vaca, who escaped to the U.S.

The director of the Prosecutor’s Office Truth Commission, Fidel Jaramillo, said at the time that crimes against humanity in Ecuador only began to be investigated in 2007, when left-wing President Rafael Correa came into power.


Photo caption: Former police commander Edgar Vaca.