Ecuadorian police break into the Mexican embassy in Quito

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Friday, April 12, 2024

An elite element of the Ecuadorian National Police jumps the fence of the Mexican embassy.
Image: Cambio 21 TV-Wikimedia Commons.

On Tuesday, the National Police of Ecuador stormed the Mexican embassy in the capital of Ecuador, Quito, in order to arrest former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas, who sought asylum there.

Elements of the Ecuadorian police entered in different vehicles and extracted Jorge Glas, taking him away from the Mexican embassy. Roberto Canseco, chief in charge of the Mexican embassy after Raquel Serur's departing, objected to the arrest and was physically removed from the passage of the policemen. "What you have just seen is a violation of international law and the inviolability of the Mexican embassy in Ecuador," Canseco told Ecuadorian television, which recorded the events live.

Following the orders of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena condemned the event and declared the entry of the police as a "flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the injuries suffered by the Mexican diplomatic personnel in Ecuador", for which Mexico consequently decided to break diplomatic relations with that country.

The Ecuadorian government has described Mexico's decision to grant Glas asylum as being "inconsistent with the established legal conventions." Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Gabriela Sommerfeld stated at a news conference "For Ecuador, no criminal can be considered a politically persecuted person when he has been convicted with an enforceable sentence and with an arrest warrant issued by the judicial authorities."

The event occurred after an escalation of diplomatic tension between the two countries, when Ecuador declared the Mexican ambassador Raquel Serur Smeke a persona non grata, who left the South American country.

Glas is facing a judicial process in Ecuador for alleged embezzlement in the so-called "Manabí Reconstruction Case", which occurred after an earthquake that severely affected Manabí Province in 2016.