Mexico cuts ties with Ecuador after embassy raid

Embajada de M茅xico en Ecuador

Mexico’s President Andr茅s Manuel L贸pez Obrador announced April 5 the suspension of diplomatic ties with Ecuador following the forcible entry of Ecuadorian police into the Mexican embassy in Quito and the subsequent arrest of the country’s聽former vice president Jorge Glas. These events occurred one day after the Ecuadorian government decided to expel the Mexican ambassador Raquel Serur in response to statements made by L贸pez Obrador.

Through his Twitter account, L贸pez Obrador strongly denounced the police聽intrusion into the embassy and the subsequent detention of Glas, who had been in the embassy since Dec. 17,聽having聽been granted political asylum by the Mexican government. L贸pez Obrador stated that the invasion of the embassy was “a flagrant violation of international law and the sovereignty of the State of Mexico.”

The National Court of Justice of Ecuador issued an arrest warrant for Glas, who served as vice president from 2013 to 2017聽and had later been convicted of illicit association, bribery and聽embezzlement (delito de peculado). His lawyer, Eduardo Franco Loor, asserted that Glas has been subject to聽political persecution聽since his government lost power.

In an official statement released April 5, Ecuador’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs聽claimed that it provided Mexico聽with information regarding the conviction of Glas and the arrest warrant issued against him. The ministry claimed that diplomatic asylum for Glas was not authorized by the provisions of Article III of the 1954 Convention on Diplomatic Asylum or Article 1 of the 1933 Convention on Political Asylum. These articles stipulate that it is not lawful to grant asylum to persons who have been convicted or are being prosecuted for common crimes by competent ordinary courts.

Ecuador’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabriela Sommerfeld stated during an April 6 press conference that the decision was聽taken to forcibly enter the embassy because聽of the imminent risk of Glas fleeing the country.

Sommerfeld also described as “unfortunate”聽and “contrary to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states” the聽statements made April 3 by L贸pez Obrador, commenting on how the assassination of Ecuadorian presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio affected the results of the country’s 2023 presidential election. L贸pez Obrador suggested that leftist candidate聽Luisa Gonz谩lez, who was the front-runner for a time, was unfairly blamed by the media for the assassination of Villavicencio, and ultimately lost the election to now-incumbent president Daniel Noboa.聽As a result of these statements, the Ecuadorian government decided, invoking Article 9 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), to declare the Mexican ambassador in Quito persona non grata.

The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) issued a press release April聽6, expressing its rejection of any action that endangers the inviolability of the premises of diplomatic missions. The General Secretariat called for dialogue between Ecuador and Mexico and convened a meeting of the Permanent Council of the OAS to address the issue.

The governments of several countries, including聽Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, also strongly condemned the forcible entry into the Mexican embassy.

From Jurist, April 6. Used with permission.

Photo:聽Embajada de M茅xico en Ecuador聽via WikimediaCommons

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