May 30, 2024

Balkan Travellers

Comprehensive up-to-date news coverage, aggregated from sources all over the world

Ecuador faces outrage after storming the Mexican embassy to arrest the former vice president

Ecuador faces outrage after storming the Mexican embassy to arrest the former vice president

Marcus Bain/Reuters

Police officers guard the arrival of former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas at La Roca prison on Friday.



CNN

Ecuador faces wrath next Storming of the Mexican Embassy in Quito To arrest former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas, a controversial figure who was seeking asylum there.

Glass's arrest late Friday night prompted Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to order the immediate suspension of diplomatic relations with Quito.

In a post on XObrador described this act as a “flagrant violation of international law and Mexico's sovereignty.”

The breach of diplomatic tradition sent shockwaves across the region, with Latin American leaders from across the political spectrum condemning the incident.

Under diplomatic norms, embassies are considered protected places.

It represents the culmination of A series of diplomatic provocations Between Mexico and Ecuador this week.

Ecuadorian authorities said Glass has since been transferred to a high-security prison in Guayaquil known as La Roca.

Diplomatic staff at the Mexican Embassy in Quito will return to Mexico with their families, the Mexican Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The group of 18 boarded a commercial flight from Quito to Mexico City earlier Sunday. They were accompanied by officials from what Mexico called “friendly and allied countries” to Quito airport.

“We thank the Ambassadors of Germany, Panama, Cuba, Honduras, the President of the Ecuador-Mexico Chamber and the rest of the diplomatic staff for their solidarity with the people of Mexico!” The Mexican Foreign Ministry said.

Mexico added that its embassy in Ecuador will remain closed indefinitely, as will its consular services. Mexicans in Ecuador can still get help through a communication system for citizens abroad and from Mexican embassies in Chile, Colombia and Peru.

See also  Russia says 82,000 conscripts of emergency conscription are already in Ukraine | Ukraine

National Police of Ecuador / Bulletin / Anadolu / Getty Images

Police arrest Glass in Quito, Ecuador on April 6.

Glass served under former leftist President Rafael Correa between 2013 and 2017. Ecuadorian authorities recently accused him of embezzling government funds intended to help rebuild after a devastating 2016 earthquake.

In the wake of his arrest, a group of Latin American countries – including regional giants Brazil and Argentina – rallied across Mexico to condemn Ecuador. Many of them pointed to the violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the international treaty that sets a framework for relations between countries.

Some also pointed to a violation of Glass's right to asylum. Nicaragua joined Mexico in severing diplomatic relations with Ecuador.

The right-wing Argentine government called for “full respect of the provisions of this international instrument as well as the obligations arising from the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”

Leftist Colombian President Gustavo Petro said Glass's right to asylum had been “violated in a barbaric way,” while Honduran President Xiomara Castro said the attack on the embassy “constitutes an intolerable act for the international community.”

A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “concerned” by the raid.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the Secretary-General, said Guterres reaffirmed “the fundamental principle of the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises and personnel.”

Southern Press/Getty Images

Ecuadorian Chancellor Gabriela Sommerfeld during a press conference on April 6 in Quito, Ecuador.

Glass, 54, was arrested late Friday night. He said he was being subjected to political persecution and was taking shelter inside the embassy.

See also  Who are the hostages released during the truce between Israel and Hamas?

A video from the scene showed police officers gathering around the embassy, ​​some of them armed.

At a press conference on Saturday, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Gabriela Sommerfeld defended the raid, saying the action was taken “in the face of a real risk of imminent escape.”

Somerfeld also accused Mexico of violating the principle of non-interference by allowing Glass to remain at the embassy and evading an order to appear regularly before authorities in a corruption investigation.

She rejected Mexico's claim that Glass was being politically prosecuted, saying: “For Ecuador, no criminal can be considered a politically persecuted person when he is convicted with an enforceable sentence and an arrest warrant issued by the judicial authorities.”

This story has been updated with additional developments.