Ecuador's former VP arrested in raid at Mexican embassy

 April 8, 2024

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Friday evening that his country was breaking diplomatic relations with Ecuador.

This came on the heels of the Ecuador police breaking down the external doors of the Mexican embassy in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, to arrest former Vice President Jorge Glas, as Fox News reported.

Why the Embassy ...

Glas had been residing at the embassy since December of last year when he sought political asylum after being indicted on corruption charges.

"This is not possible. It cannot be. This is crazy," Roberto Canseco, head of the Mexican consular section in Quito, told local press while standing outside the embassy right after the raid, according to The Associated Press.

"I am very worried because they could kill him. There is no basis to do this. This is totally outside the norm."

Mexico's Response ...

Mexico’s secretary of foreign relations, Alicia Bárcena said on Friday that a number of diplomats suffered injuries during the break-in to an embassy, officially considered, Mexican soil.

The spokesperson also said that Mexico would be offering the details of the case to the International Court of Justice in Hague, Netherlands.

Bárcena said that Mexico would go to the court to "denounce Ecuador’s responsibility for violations of international law."

Ecuador's Side of the Story ...

Ecuador's Foreign Minister Gabriela Sommerfeld said one day later, on Saturday, that President Daniel Noboa made the call to enter the embassy after it was decided that Glas was an "imminent flight risk."

The foreign minister also asserted that her country had already used all their avenues of diplomatic dialogue with Mexico.

The raid took place hours after Mexico granted Glas asylum, something Sommerfeld said was not their legal right.

"It is not legal to grant asylum to people convicted of common crimes and by competent courts," Sommerfeld said.

Crimes in Question

Glas was being investigated by Ecuadorian authorities over reported irregularities in his management of investments for reconstruction after the powerful earthquake of 2016.

Glas was convicted of bribery and corruption in other cases, and the Organization of American States has stepped up to remind members, including Ecuador and Mexico, of their commitment to "invoke norms of domestic law to justify non-compliance with their international obligations."

The Spanish foreign ministry issued a statement Sunday that said, "The entry by force into the Embassy of Mexico in Quito constitutes a violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. We call for respect for international law and harmony between Mexico and Ecuador, brotherly countries to Spain and members of the Ibero-American community."

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