Ecuador’s Actions at Mexican Embassy Prompt Global Condemnation

( – On Friday April 5, Ecuadorian police and military forces conducted a raid on the Mexican embassy in Quito, Ecuador to arrest the former vice president Jorge Glas on bribery and corruption charges.

Glas sought asylum there in December after his indictment on charges of bribery and corruption. He is now being held in a maximum-security prison and has not been allowed contact with his defense team. According to Glas’ attorney, Sonia Vera, he was knocked to the floor and kicked repeatedly when he resisted being arrested by the officers who broke into his room.

Conducting a raid on an embassy is considered a violation of international laws, specifically the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. In a public statement, the U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller condemned any violations of the Vienna Convention and issued a call for Ecuador and Mexico to “resolve their differences”. Many other nations have condemned the raid, such as Brazil and Argentina while the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has expressed alarm over the incident.

However, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Gabriela Sommerfeld has defended the raid, accusing Mexico of violating the principle of non-intervention in offering shelter to Glas and allowing him to evade summons. She pointed out that criminals cannot be considered politically persecuted when they have been convicted of an enforceable sentence and have an active arrest warrant that has been issued by judicial authorities. Ecuador President Daniel Noboa who was elected to finish the term of former President Guillermo Lasso has not made a statement regarding the raid, but Sommerfeld says the decision was made after diplomatic dialogue with Mexico broke down as Glas was considered a flight risk.

Mexico has suspended diplomatic ties with Ecuador over the incident and Alicia Bárcena, Mexico’s secretary of foreign relations says that they will be challenging the raid at the World Court in The Hague. Natalia Saltalamacchia, professor on international relations at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico, commented that the raid essentially constituted an attack on Mexican sovereign territory, adding that such an action can lead to anarchy and sets a the stage to endanger embassies all over the world.

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