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



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.

Mexico said it would file a case against Ecuador at the International Court of Justice on Monday after 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, 54, has since been transferred to a high-security prison in Guayaquil known as La Roca.

His lawyers have filed an appeal for his release on the grounds of unlawful detention, according to court records, though it is unclear when a judge might issue a decision on the request.

The Ecuadorian Public Prosecutor's Office declined to comment on Glass's defense appeal.

Diplomatic staff of the Mexican Embassy in Quito and their families arrived in Mexico City on Sunday after leaving Ecuador, according to the Mexican Foreign Ministry.

The group of 18 boarded a commercial flight 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.

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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.

National Police of Ecuador / Bulletin / Anadolu / Getty Images

Police arrest Glass in Quito, Ecuador on April 6.

Glass, who was twice convicted of corruption, served under former leftist President Rafael Correa between 2013 and 2017.

Ecuadorian authorities have accused him of embezzling government funds intended to help rebuild after a devastating earthquake in 2016. Glass's defense rejected the allegations and said he was being subjected to political persecution.

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.”

Southern Press/Getty Images

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

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.”

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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.”

A video from the scene of Glass's arrest last Friday showed police officers gathering around the Mexican embassy, ​​some of them armed.



01:25- Source: CNN

UN Secretary-General Guterres condemns Ecuador's storming of the Mexican embassy

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.

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