Latin America

Ecuador Detains Former Vice President Fearing His Possible Escape

Police guard the National Assembly in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, May 17, 2023.

QUITO (Sputnik) – The Ecuadorian government has decided to storm the Mexican embassy in the country to detain former Vice President Jorge Glas because there was a “real” possibility of his escape, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Gabriela Sommerfeld said. On the night of Saturday, the Ecuadorian police stormed the Mexican embassy in Quito using armed vehicles to arrest Glas, who had been sheltering in the diplomatic mission, media reported. Mexico City suspended diplomatic relations with Quito, saying that Mexican diplomats had sustained injuries as a result of the storming. “The president’s decision was made because of the real risk of imminent escape of a citizen who was due to stand trial,” Sommerfeld told reporters on Saturday. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is alarmed by the Ecuadorian police attack on the Mexican Embassy in Quito, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, adding that the principle of the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises and personnel should be respected.”The Secretary-General is alarmed at the forced entry of Ecuadorean security forces into the premises of the Mexican Embassy in Quito. He reaffirms the cardinal principle of the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises and personnel, emphasizing that this principle must be respected in all cases, in accordance with international law,” Dujarric said in a statement published on Saturday.Guterres noted that violations of the principle of diplomatic inviolability may “jeopardize the pursuit of normal international relations” and called on Ecuador and Mexico to “solve their differences through peaceful means,” the statement read.WorldNicaragua Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador Amid Fallout from Mexican Embassy Invasion7 April, 00:51 GMTRelations between the two countries also exacerbated this week due to the fact that Quito declared Mexican Ambassador Raquel Serur persona non grata because of the Mexican president’s remarks about the 2023 general election in Ecuador.Glas served five years in prison for bribery and criminal conspiracy before being released in late 2022. However, already in December 2023, he was sentenced to six more years in prison in a corruption case involving Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, currently known as Novonor. Glas took refuge in the Mexican diplomatic mission in the same month, before an official warrant for his arrest was issued.On April 5, 2024, Mexico granted Glas political asylum. Ecuador called Mexico’s decision illegal and demanded the extradition of the politician.

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