International leaders condemn Ecuador after police raid on the Mexican Embassy in Quito

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By journalsofus.com


QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Global condemnation of Ecuador’s government for its decision to storm the Mexican embassy increased Sunday with more presidents and other leaders expressing disapproval, shock and dismay.

The criticism came as Mexico’s ambassador and other staff arrived in Mexico City after departing Ecuador’s capital, Quito, on a commercial flight. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador broke diplomatic relations with Ecuador immediately after Friday’s raid, which international law experts, presidents and diplomats have considered a violation of long-established international agreements.

Police burst through the outer doors of the Mexican embassy in Quito to arrest Jorge Glas, who had resided there since December. She had requested asylum after being accused of corruption charges.

Mexico plans to challenge the raid at the World Court in The Hague.

The Spanish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday: “Forcible entry into the Mexican Embassy in Quito constitutes a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961. We call for respect for international law and harmony between Mexico and Ecuador, sister countries of Spain and members of the Ibero-American community.”

A day earlier, the Organization of American States in a statement reminded its members, including Ecuador and Mexico, of their obligation not to “invoke norms of domestic law to justify non-compliance with their international obligations.”

US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said: “The United States condemns any violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and takes seriously the obligation of host countries under international law to respect the sanctity of the diplomatic missions”. He called on both countries to resolve their difference.

Honduran President Xiomara Castro, writing in .

Diplomatic premises are considered foreign soil and “inviolable” Under the Vienna treaties, host country law enforcement agencies cannot enter without the ambassador’s permission. Asylum seekers have lived from days to years in embassies around the world, including Ecuador’s in London, which housed Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, for seven years since the British police could not enter to arrest him.

Alicia Bárcena, Mexico’s foreign affairs secretary, posted on social media platform X on Friday that several diplomats suffered injuries during the raid.

Bárcena said Mexico would take the case to the International Court of Justice “to denounce Ecuador’s responsibility for violations of international law.” He also remembered the Mexican diplomats.

GLAS IS TAKEN TO PRISON

On Saturday, Glas was transferred from the attorney general’s office in Quito to the port city of Guayaquil, where he will remain detained in a maximum security prison. People who had gathered in front of the prosecutor’s office shouted “force” when he left with a convoy of police and military vehicles.

Glas’ lawyer, Sonia Vera, told The Associated Press that the officers burst into his room and he resisted when they tried to put his hands behind his back. She said the officers then “threw him to the ground, kicked him in the head, in the spine, in the legs, in the hands” and when “he couldn’t walk, they dragged him out.”

Vera said the defense team was not allowed to speak with Glas while he was in the prosecutor’s office, and they are now working to file a habeas corpus petition.

Authorities are investigating Glas for alleged irregularities during his management of reconstruction efforts after a powerful earthquake in 2016 that killed hundreds of people. He was convicted on bribery and corruption charges in other cases.

Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Gabriela Sommerfeld told reporters on Saturday that the decision to enter the embassy was made by President Daniel Noboa after considering the “imminent risk of Glas’ escape” and exhausting all possibilities of diplomatic dialogue with Mexico.

Mexico granted Glas asylum hours before the raid. Sommerfeld said that “it is not legal to grant asylum to people convicted of common crimes and by competent courts.”

PRESIDENT OF ECUADOR FACES RE-ELECTION NEXT YEAR

Noboa became president of Ecuador last year as the nation struggled Unprecedented crime linked to drug trafficking. He declared the country in “internal armed conflict” in January and appointed 20 drug gangs as terrorist groups that the military had authorization to “neutralize” within the limits of international humanitarian law.

Will Freeman, a Latin American studies researcher at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the decision to send police to the Mexican embassy raises concerns about the steps Noboa is willing to take to be re-elected. His term ends in 2025. since he was only elected to finish the mandate of former president Guillermo Lasso.

“I really hope that Noboa is not turning more in Bukele’s direction,” Freeman said, referring to El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, whose tough on crime policies They have been harshly criticized by human rights organizations. “That is, less respectful of the rule of law to increase his popularity before the elections.”

Freeman added that whether Glas was abusing diplomatic protection is a “separate issue” from the decision to send police to the embassy.

“We see a similar pattern in Latin America, with politicians abusing embassies and foreign jurisdictions, not to escape prosecution but to evade accountability,” he said.

The Mexican embassy in Quito remained under heavy police surveillance after the raid, the boiling point of The recent tensions between Mexico and Ecuador.

Vera, Glas’s lawyer, said she fears “something could happen to him” while he is in custody considering the record of the country’s detention centers, where hundreds of people have died during violent unrest in recent years. Among those killed in custody were some suspects in the murder of a presidential candidate last year.

“In Ecuador, going to jail is practically a death sentence,” Vera said. “We consider that the international political and legal person responsible for the life of Jorge Glas is President Daniel Noboa Azín.”

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García Cano reported from Mexico City. Associated Press writers Gonzalo Solano in Quito and Megan Janetsky in Mexico City contributed to this report.

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Follow AP’s coverage of Latin America and the Caribbean on https://apnews.com/hub/latin-america



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