The National Court of Justice issued a new sentence for the death of the former Minister of Defense, Guadalupe Larriva and her daughter Claudia Ávila. On June 24, it was determined that there was objective responsibility of the State, through the Armed Forces, for the two deaths.
This new ruling was issued by the Contentious Administrative Chamber after accepting an extraordinary appeal for protection filed by the family’s lawyer, Víctor Granda, before the Constitutional Court. In this way the first sentence that only recognized the objective responsibility for Claudia Ávila was annulled, but not for her mother.
The main basis for issuing the new sentence, according to the lawyer, are the military reports where it is established that the military high command did not take due care at the time that Larriva and his daughter went up to the war helicopter in which military exercises were carried out. .
But there are also three additional aspects: an economic compensation for the family members that according to Granda could reach $ 500,000, the final amount will be known after a calculation made based on elements such as life expectancy, the unified basic salary and the Salazar de Larriva when she was Secretary of State; apologize to the family and a repetition action, so that the State will collect the compensation for the officials who sent the crew to the helicopter.
According to Granda, this ruling sets a precedent and “it is recognized that death could be avoided and that the public officials in charge of the exercise, under no circumstances could involve the minister and her daughter.”
The death of the first civilian woman to assume this Ministry, her daughter and five soldiers occurred on January 24, 2007 near the Eloy Alfaro de Manta Naval Base when two Gacela-type military helicopters were preparing to land, one of which impacted the one traveling. The authority.
Larriva toured military detachments in the country, and departed at 19:40 from the Royal Tamarindos airport in Portoviejo, overflew the Montecristi canton as part of the activities organized for the 53rd anniversary of the Army.
In March 2007 a report from the International Commission of Inquiry determined that the “situational awareness of the pilots would have failed” and that the rest time of the pilots was not respected, which linked to the presence in the air of a flight of the private airline Icarus would also have caused flaws and the distraction of those who handled the ship. (I)