Mexico suspends ties with Ecuador after police break into embassy in Quito-Xinhua

Mexico suspends ties with Ecuador after police break into embassy in Quito

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-04-06 15:43:15

MEXICO CITY, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Mexico suspended its diplomatic relations with Ecuador after Ecuadorian police broke into the Mexican embassy in Quito and arrested former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas, who has been taking refuge in the embassy since last December.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced the suspension of diplomatic ties with Ecuador on X Friday night local time (GMT 0431 Saturday), calling the Ecuadorian move "a flagrant violation of international law and the sovereignty of Mexico."

Less than 10 minutes earlier, the Ecuadorian president's X account affirmed Glas was detained by police in a statement at 11:22 local time (GMT 0422 Saturday), saying that "Ecuador is a sovereign country and we are not going to allow any criminal to go unpunished."

Mexico's diplomatic personnel in Ecuador will leave that country immediately and will appeal to the International Court of Justice to "denounce Ecuador's responsibility for violations of International Law," said Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena on X at 11:23 local time (GMT 0423 Saturday)

In his morning conference, Lopez said he had not considered breaking relations with Ecuador.

Around 10:30 pm local time (GMT 0330 Saturday), Ecuadorian police in armored cars forcibly entered the Mexican embassy in Quito and detained Glas, who was granted political asylum by the Mexican government earlier in the day and was waiting for safe passage to Mexico.

Hours earlier, the Ecuadorian government warned that it would not permit Glas to leave the country by way of political asylum. Police deployment started in the afternoon around the Mexican embassy, according to local media. The head of the Mexican consular mission in Ecuador, Roberto Canseco, was inside the building when the police broke in.

This occurred one day after the Ecuadorian government declared Mexican Ambassador to Ecuador Raquel Serur Smeke a "persona non grata" following days of tension between the two countries.

The Mexican government regretted the decision, considering it "disproportionate" and "clearly of a political nature." It instructed the diplomat "to return to Mexico to protect her safety," while expressing opposition to the increased presence of Ecuadorian police forces outside the Mexican embassy in Quito.

Glas is subject to two sentences of 14 years in total in Ecuador for corruption. He had served five years in prison and was granted precautionary measures in 2022. He received the arrest warrant in December 2023 and took refuge in the Mexican embassy.

On March 1, the Ecuadorian government requested allowing its security forces to enter the Mexican Embassy to arrest Glas but was rejected by Mexico.