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Mexico breaks with Ecuador after police raid its embassy

The diplomatic crisis is open between Ecuador and Mexico, which broke off relations with Quito after the irruption of Ecuadorian police officers into the Mexican embassy on Friday to arrest the former vice-president Jorge Glas who took refuge there.

Images broadcast by local media show the entry of uniformed police officers into the Mexican embassy, ​​in the north of the Ecuadorian capital, in order to arrest Mr. Glas.

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

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

She warned that her country would go to the International Court of Justice.

– “A scandal!” –

“It's a scandal!” shouts the head of the Mexican diplomatic mission, Roberto Canseco, while running after vehicles leaving his embassy, ​​in images of local media. A stampede ensued, during which Mr. Canseco fell to the ground.

Ms. Bárcena estimated, in televised statements, that the “physical aggression” of the head of the diplomatic mission is “clearly perceptible”, but that he is “doing well” just like the rest of the staff.

“After an exhaustive analysis”, the Mexico had 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 subsequently described this decision as “illegal”.

“Each embassy has a unique objective: 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 has been the subject of an enforceable conviction and an arrest warrant issued by the competent authorities”, said – he specified.

The granting of asylum to Mr. Glas on Friday by Mexico came the day after Ecuador's decision to expel the Mexican ambassador in Quito, following remarks by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

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 the north of Quito a few days before the August 20 election. Seven suspects were arrested for this crime, but were killed in prison.

The Ecuadorian government considered these comments offensive and clarified that the country was still in mourning over the deaths of Fernando Villavicencio, 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 embezzling public funds intended for the reconstruction of coastal cities after a devastating earthquake in 2016.

Mexico breaks with Ecuador after police raid its embassy

Ecuadorian police come to arrest former vice-president Jorge Glas who is taking refuge in the Mexican embassy in Quito, April 5, 2024 © AFP – ALBERTO SUAREZ

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 in the worst dictatorships, a country’s embassy was not violated.”

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

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

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

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