Mexico suspends diplomatic relations with Ecuador following forcible entry at Mexican embassy News
Mexico suspends diplomatic relations with Ecuador following forcible entry at Mexican embassy

Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Friday the suspension of diplomatic ties with Ecuador following the forcible entry of Ecuadorian police into the Mexican embassy in Quito and the subsequent arrest of the former vice president of Ecuador Jorge Glas. These events occurred one day after the Ecuadorian government decided to expel the Mexican ambassador Raquel Serur in response to statements made by López Obrador on Wednesday.

Through his X account (formerly Twitter), López Obrador strongly denounced the Ecuadorian police’s intrusion into the Mexican embassy in Quito and the subsequent detention of Glas, who had been at the Mexican Embassy in Quito since December 17, 2023, and had recently been granted political asylum by the Mexican government. López Obrador stated that the invasion of the Mexican embassy was “a flagrant violation of international law and the sovereignty of the State of Mexico.”

The National Court of Justice of Ecuador issued an arrest warrant for Glas, who served as vice president of Ecuador from 2013 to 2018 and was previously convicted of the crimes of illicit association and bribery, in a case of embezzlement (delito de peculado). In this regard, his lawyer, Eduardo Franco Loor, pointed out that there has been political persecution against Glas since 2017.  He went on to claim that the Attorney General’s Office intended to prosecute and imprison him, despite him being innocent.

In an official statement released Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador stated that it provided Mexico’s embassy with information regarding the conviction of Glas and the arrest warrant issued against him. The ministry claimed that diplomatic asylum for Glas was not authorized by the provisions of Article III of the 1954 Convention on Diplomatic Asylum and Article 1 of the 1933 Convention on Political Asylum. These articles stipulate that it is not lawful to grant asylum to persons who have been convicted or are being prosecuted for common crimes by competent ordinary courts.

Ecuador’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabriela Sommerfeld stated during a Saturday press conference held that the Ecuadorian government decided to forcibly enter the Mexican embassy because it was aware of the imminent risk of Glas fleeing the country. In addition, Sommerfeld described as “unfortunate” and “contrary to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states” statements made on Wednesday by López Obrador, commenting on how the assassination of former Ecuadorian presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio affected the results of Ecuador’s 2023 presidential election. As a result of these statements, the Ecuadorian government decided, invoking Article 9 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), to declare the Mexican ambassador in Quito persona non grata.

In response, the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) issued a press release on Saturday, expressing its rejection of any action that violates or endangers the inviolability of the premises of diplomatic missions. The OAS’ General Secretariat expressed its solidarity with “those who were victims of the inappropriate actions that affected the Mexican Embassy in Ecuador.” They also called for dialogue between Ecuador and Mexico and deemed it necessary to convene a meeting of the Permanent Council of the OAS to address the issue.

The governments of several countries, such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela also strongly condemned the forcible entry of the Ecuadorian police into the Mexican embassy in Quito.