May 30, 2024

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Mexico cuts diplomatic relations with Ecuador after embassy raid

Mexico cuts diplomatic relations with Ecuador after embassy raid

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Mexico's president moved quickly to sever diplomatic ties with Ecuador after police stormed the Mexican embassy to arrest Ecuador's former vice president who sought political asylum there after being indicted on corruption charges.

Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador made the announcement on Friday evening after Ecuadorian police forced their way into the embassy in the capital, Quito, to arrest Jorge Glass, who has been residing there since December. Glass, arguably Ecuador's most wanted man, was convicted of bribery and corruption, and Ecuadorian authorities are still investigating further accusations against him.

Police stormed the outer doors of the Mexican diplomatic headquarters in the Ecuadorian capital and entered the main courtyard to arrest Glass.

Police attempt to storm the Mexican embassy in Quito, Ecuador, Friday, April 5, 2024, after Mexico granted asylum to former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas, who took refuge there. Later, the police forcefully stormed the embassy through another entrance. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

“This is not possible. It cannot be. This is crazy,” Roberto Canseco, head of the Mexican consular section in Quito, told local media while standing outside the embassy. “I am very worried that they might kill him. There is no basis for doing so. “This is completely out of the ordinary.”

The Ecuadorian presidency said in a statement defending its decision: “Ecuador is a sovereign state and we will not allow any criminal to remain free.”

Lopez Obrador responded, calling Glass's detention an “act of tyranny” and a “flagrant violation of international law and Mexico's sovereignty.”

Alicia Bárcena, Mexico's Minister of Foreign Relations, posted on the social media platform

Diplomatic buildings are considered “fortunate” under the Vienna Treaties and local law enforcement agencies are not allowed to enter without the ambassador's permission. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange He lived inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London For seven years because the British police were unable to enter to arrest him.

Bárcena said Mexico would take the case to the International Court of Justice “to denounce Ecuador's responsibility for violations of international law.” She also said that Mexican diplomats are just waiting for the Ecuadorian government to provide the necessary guarantees for their return to their homeland.

Police escort vehicles storm the Mexican Embassy in Quito, Ecuador, Friday, April 5, 2024. Ecuadorian police officers forcefully stormed the embassy where former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas was holed up, just hours after he was given political power by the Mexican government.  seek refuge.  (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

Police escort vehicles storm the Mexican Embassy in Quito, Ecuador, Friday, April 5, 2024. Ecuadorian police officers forcefully stormed the embassy where former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas was holed up, just hours after he was given political power by the Mexican government. seek refuge. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

A car reverses toward the Mexican Embassy in Quito, Ecuador, Friday, April 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

A car reverses toward the Mexican Embassy in Quito, Ecuador, Friday, April 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

The Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Interior did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Mexican embassy in Quito remained under heavy police guard late Friday.

The previous day, tensions escalated between the two countries after the President of Mexico made statements that Ecuador considered “very unfortunate” regarding last year’s elections, which were won by Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa.

In response, the Ecuadorian government The Mexican ambassador was declared persona non grata.

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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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