Mexico Cuts Diplomatic Ties With Ecuador After Ecuador Storms Embassy To Arrest Fugitive.

Photo: Independent Press Agency. Ecuadorian soldiers storming the Mexican embassy in Quito to extract a fugitive from arrest.
- Advertisement -

Mexico is cutting diplomatic ties with the South American nation of Ecuador after police broke into the Mexican embassy in Quito to arrest fugitive former Ecuadorian Vice-President Jorge Glas who had taken shelter there to evade warrants for his arrest.`

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said they had “forcibly entered” the embassy in a “flagrant violation of international law”.

Glas took refuge in the embassy last December after Ecuador issued an arrest warrant against him for alleged corruption.

Glas’s lawyer said he was innocent.

Glas served as Ecuador’s vice-president between 2013 and 2017. He was relieved of his duties because of mounting corruption allegations against him.

Later that year he was sentenced to six years in jail in connection with corruption at the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht. Prosecutors said he took $13.5m (£10.2m) in bribes.

He was released from prison in November but Ecuadorian authorities then issued another arrest warrant alleging further allegations of corruption, at which point Glas sought refuge in the Mexican embassy.

On Friday, Mexico said it had granted Glas political asylum “after a thorough analysis” of the situation – an action Ecuador viewed as illegal.

“Ecuador is a sovereign nation and we are not going to allow any criminal to stay free,” Ecuador’s Presidency said in a statement.

It said Glas, who had been “sentenced to imprisonment by the Ecuadoran justice system”, had been arrested and “placed under the orders of the competent authorities”.

Photographs from the scene show police scaling a wall and metal fence at the embassy’s closed entrance.

Mexico’s Mr Obrador, writing on X, said he had ordered the immediate suspension of diplomatic ties as a result.

“Police from Ecuador forcibly entered our embassy and detained the former vice-president of that country who was a refugee and processing asylum due to the persecution and harassment he faces.

“This is a flagrant violation of international law and the sovereignty of Mexico.”

A number of diplomats were injured in the incident, according to Alicia Bárcena, Mexico’s secretary of foreign relations.

Tension between the two countries has been mounting in recent days. On Wednesday, Mr Obrador made remarks, considered “unfortunate” by Ecuador, about violence during last year’s election – won by Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa.

The following day Ecuador declared the Mexican ambassador a persona non grata and said she should leave the country.

On 19 June 2012, the Ecuadorian government gave asylum in its London embassy to Julian Assange. An office was converted into a studio apartment and equipped with a bed, telephone, sun lamp, computer, shower, treadmill, and kitchenette.

The embassy staff removed the toilet in the women’s bathroom at Assange’s request so he could sleep in the quiet room where there was less traffic noise. He was limited to roughly 30 m2 and ate a combination of takeaways and food prepared by the embassy staff.

However, Ecuador was under a different governmental regime at the time of the Assange asylum.

El Universo newspaper reports that Glas is now being held at the notorious top-security La Roca prison in the port city of Guayaquil.

Source: BBC, Wikipedia, El Universo.

 

- Advertisement -