Mexico files ICJ case against Ecuador over forcible embassy entry

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) announced on Thursday that Mexico had initiated proceedings seeking provisional measures against Ecuador over Ecuadorian authorities’ forcible entry into the Mexican embassy in Quito earlier this month. According to the press release, the dispute is related to “legal questions concerning the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means and diplomatic relations, and the inviolability of a diplomatic mission.”

This action follows Ecuadorian authorities’ entry into the Mexican Embassy in Quito on April 5 by force, prompting Mexico’s suspension of diplomatic ties. This event occurred one day after Ecuador declared the Mexican ambassador persona non grata and expelled him based upon comments made by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador regarding the 2023 Ecuador elections.

In its application, Mexico stated that the events of April 5 are part of a pattern of ongoing intimidation and harassment acts, linked to the arrival of Jorge David Glas Espinel, former Ecuadorian vice-president, and his subsequent asylum request (which was granted). Mexico asserted that Ecuador infringed upon Mexico’s rights under customary and conventional international law.

Mexico requested the court award remedies including “full reparation and to suspend Ecuador as a member of the United Nations” Additionally, Mexico requested the court to take provisional measures in the case. Among these, Mexico asked that “the Government of Ecuador takes appropriate and immediate steps to provide full protection and security of diplomatic premises, their property, and archives, preventing any form of intrusion against them,” and also requested that they “allow the Mexican Government to clear diplomatic premises and the private residence of diplomatic agents.”

The filing before the ICJ occurred one day after the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) approved the resolution titled, “The Intrusion of the Ecuadorian Police into the Embassy of Mexico in Violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and the Institution of Diplomatic Asylum” with 29 states in favor, one against, one abstention and two absent. In response, the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry rejected the OAS resolution for its failure to acknowledge Mexico’s international law violations but expressed openness to “rebuild trust with Mexico through constructive dialogue.”