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Latin American Governments Condemn Ecuador After Police Raid Mexican Embassy

Ecuador Arrest: Latin American Governments Condemn Mexico After <a data-ail="4968538" target="_blank" href="https://www.world-today-news.com/tag/police/" >Police</a> Raid Embassy

Ecuador Arrest: Latin American Governments Condemn Mexico After Police Raid Embassy

Brazil and Other Governments Criticize Arrest of Former Ecuadorian Vice President

Sun 7 Apr 2024 05.00 CEST | By Reuters

Embassy Raid Triggers Suspension of Relations

Governments across Latin America – including Brazil – expressed support for Mexico after its embassy in Ecuador was raided by police in search of a controversial politician with granted asylum by Mexican authorities.

The late Friday night arrest of Jorge Glas, Ecuador’s former vice-president who was detained on graft charges, triggered a suspension of relations with Quito by Mexico City, with the government of Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, blasting the unusual diplomatic incursion and arrest as an “authoritarian” act, as well as a breach of international law and Mexico’s sovereignty.

Under international law, embassies are considered the sovereign territory of the country they represent.

Brazil’s Condemnation

On Saturday, governments across the political spectrum in Latin America – including Brazil and Colombia on the left, and Argentina and Uruguay on the right – sharply criticised the arrest of Glas, who had sought refuge in the embassy since December.

Brazil’s government condemned Ecuador’s move as a “clear violation” of international norms prohibiting such a raid on a foreign embassy.

Ecuador’s move against the embassy “must be subject to strong repudiation, whatever the justification for its implementation,” according to a statement from Brazil’s foreign ministry, which stressed Brasília’s solidarity with Mexico.

Ecuador’s President Argues Against Asylum Protections

The government of Ecuador’s President, Daniel Noboa, argued that asylum protections were illegal because of the corruption charges Glas is facing.

Response from Nicaragua and the Organization of American States

Nicaragua formally severed “all diplomatic relations” with Ecuador on Saturday, the Nicaraguan government announced in a statement.

Also on Saturday, the Washington-based Organization of American States issued a call for dialogue to resolve the escalating dispute between Ecuador and Mexico, adding in a statement that a session of the body’s permanent council will be convened to discuss the need for “strict compliance with international treaties, including those that guarantee the right to asylum”.

Glas Flown to Jail

In a video circulating on social media, Glas could be seen being taken by police convoy to the airport in Quito, flanked by heavily armed soldiers. He then boarded a plane en route to a jail in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city.

Concern from the United States

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller mentioned that the United States condemns any violation of the convention protecting diplomatic missions. He added that the US encourages “the two countries to resolve their differences in accordance with international norms”.

Mexico’s Stance

In an interview with local broadcaster Milenio on Saturday morning, Mexico’s top diplomat, Alicia Barcena, expressed shock at Ecuador’s incursion into the country’s embassy, located in Quito’s financial district, adding that some embassy personnel were injured in the raid. She stressed that Glas was granted asylum after an exhaustive analysis of the circumstances surrounding the accusations he faces.

The Mexican foreign ministry has announced it will file a complaint with the United Nation’s International Court of Justice for “grave violations of international law”.

Seeking Human Rights Legal Protections

The Colombian President, Gustavo Petro, argues for international law, saying that Latin America must keep alive the precepts of international law amidst the advancing barbarism. Petro’s government noted it will seek human rights legal protections for Glas.

Glas’s Corruption Charges

Glas, convicted twice for corruption, had been holed up in the embassy in Quito since seeking political asylum in December, a request Mexico granted on Friday. Glas not only faced a fresh arrest on separate graft charges but has also claimed he is the victim of political persecution, a charge Ecuador’s government has denied.

In 2017, Glas, the former second-in-command to ex-President Rafael Correa, was sentenced to six years in prison after he was found guilty of taking bribes from Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht in exchange for government contracts.

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