The decision comes on the heels of an extensive case filed by the Association of Officials and Lawyers for Animal Rights (AFADA) and the Great Ape Project (or Proyecto Gran Simio), some two years in the making. The NGOs had filed for a writ of habeas corpus on Cecilia's behalf, arguing that the circumstances of her confinement without companionship were unlawful and that her health was deteriorating as a result.
Judge Mauricio agreed, stating in her verdict that nonhumans indeed possess rights related to their "animal essence," and decreeing that Cecilia should be transferred to the Great Ape Project's sanctuary in Brazil within the coming months - the first time a habeas corpus case for an animal has resulted in this action.
"We're not talking about the civil rights enshrined in the Civil Code," she told the journal Los Andes, "but instead the species' own rights: to development, to life in their natural habitat."
With that, Cecilia will soon go from this ...