Ecuador and Mexico Sever Diplomatic Relations

Mexico has decided to sever diplomatic relations with Ecuador following an incident where police forcibly entered the Mexican embassy in Quito to arrest former Ecuadorian Vice-President Jorge Glas. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador condemned the action as a “flagrant violation of international law” due to the forcible entry into the embassy.

Glas sought refuge in the Mexican embassy in December after Ecuador issued an arrest warrant against him on charges of corruption. His lawyer maintains his innocence.

Glas served as Ecuador’s vice-president from 2013 to 2017 but was removed from office due to mounting corruption allegations. In 2017, he was sentenced to six years in prison for involvement in corruption related to the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, accused of accepting $13.5 million in bribes.

Although released from prison in November, Glas faced a new arrest warrant from Ecuadorian authorities for additional corruption allegations, prompting his refuge in the Mexican embassy.

Mexico announced on Friday that it had granted political asylum to Jorge Glas after conducting a thorough analysis of his situation. This decision was deemed illegal by Ecuador, which asserted its sovereignty and commitment to apprehending criminals.

In response to the arrest of Glas, Ecuador’s Presidency issued a statement emphasizing its determination to uphold the law. The statement noted that Glas, who had been convicted and sentenced by Ecuador’s justice system, was now under arrest and in custody of the authorities.

Photographs from the incident at the Mexican embassy in Quito showed police scaling a wall and metal fence to gain access to the closed entrance.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador expressed his strong disapproval on social media, announcing the immediate suspension of diplomatic ties with Ecuador. He condemned Ecuadorian police for forcibly entering the Mexican embassy and detaining Glas, who sought asylum due to persecution and harassment he faced in Ecuador. President Obrador characterized this action as a flagrant violation of international law and Mexico’s sovereignty.

Several diplomats sustained injuries during the incident, as reported by Alicia Bárcena, Mexico’s secretary of foreign relations.

Tensions between the two countries have escalated in recent days. On Wednesday, President Obrador made remarks that were deemed “unfortunate” by Ecuador regarding violence during last year’s election, which was won by Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa.

In response, Ecuador declared the Mexican ambassador persona non grata the following day, demanding her departure from the country.

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