Spread the love

Mexico breaks diplomatic relations with Ecuador

Photo: Yuri Cortez Agence France-Presse A police officer stands guard in front of the Ecuadorian embassy in Mexico City. On Friday, police entered the Mexican embassy in Quito to arrest former Ecuadorian vice-president Jorge Glas, to whom Mexico had just granted asylum.

France Media Agency in Quito

3:10 p.m.

  • Americas

The diplomatic crisis is open between Ecuador and Mexico, which broke off relations with Quito after police raided the Mexican embassy on Friday to arrest former Ecuadorian vice-president Jorge Glas, wanted by the courts, who had taken refuge there.

Images broadcast by local media show uniformed police officers entering the embassy in the north of the Ecuadorian capital, where they arrested Mr. Glas, to whom Mexico had just granted asylum.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador denounced a “flagrant violation of international law and Mexican sovereignty,” in a message on the social network X.

“Mexico announces the immediate severance of diplomatic relations with Ecuador,” Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena immediately wrote on X, specifying that the diplomatic staff would leave Quito immediately.

She requested “the necessary guarantees from Ecuador for the exit of Mexican [diplomatic] personnel,” according to a statement.

Saturday morning, the Mexican embassy was surrounded by police and the national flag had been removed from its mast in the courtyard of the building, noted an AFP photographer.

The day before, the head of Mexican diplomacy had indicated that she was waiting for a response from the Ecuadorian authorities to send a plane to evacuate her diplomats.

“A scandal! »

Local media broadcast images of the police burst into the embassy. We see the head of the Mexican diplomatic mission, Roberto Canseco shouting “it’s a scandal! », while running after vehicles leaving his embassy. A stampede ensued, during which Mr. Canseco fell to the ground.

Ms. Barcena said, in televised statements, that the “physical aggression” of the head of the diplomatic mission was “clearly perceptible”, but that he was “fine” as were the rest of the staff.

Mexico granted asylum on Friday to Jorge Glas, who had taken refuge in its embassy in Quito since December 17 and was the subject of an arrest warrant for alleged corruption.

Quito immediately described this decision as “illegal”.

“Each embassy has a unique purpose: to serve as a diplomatic space with the aim of strengthening relations between countries,” commented the Ecuadorian Ministry of Communication, adding that “no criminal can be considered a politically persecuted person.”

Former vice president “Jorge Glas was the subject of an enforceable conviction and an arrest warrant issued by the competent authorities,” he said.

The granting of asylum to Mr. Glas came the day after Ecuador's decision to expel the Mexican ambassador to Quito, following criticism by the Mexican president over the conduct of the 2023 Ecuadorian presidential election.

On Wednesday, Mr. Lopez Obrador accused the Ecuadorian authorities of having exploited the assassination of opposition candidate Fernando Villavicencio on August 9, 2023, to favor the election of the liberal Daniel Noboa to the presidency of Ecuador, to the detriment of left-wing candidate Luisa González.

Fernando Villavicencio was shot dead after a campaign rally in northern Quito days before the August 20 election. Seven suspects were arrested for the crime, but were killed in prison.

The Ecuadorian government considered these comments offensive and clarified that the country was still in mourning over the death of Fernando Villavicencio, a fierce opponent of corruption.

Glas released from prison in November

Jorge Glas, former vice-president between 2013 and 2017 under former socialist president Rafael Correa (2007-2017), is accused of having embezzled public funds intended for the reconstruction of coastal cities after a devastating earthquake in 2016.

In another case, Mr. Glas was sentenced in December 2017 to six years in prison for corruption in a vast scandal involving the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht. He was released from prison last November.

Former President Rafael Correa, a fugitive sentenced to eight years in prison for corruption, wrote on .

“We hold Daniel Noboa responsible for the security and physical and psychological integrity of former Vice President Jorge Glas,” Mr. Correa added.

In recent years, Mexico has granted asylum or refuge to former Correa supporters.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116