Latin America

Storming the Mexican Embassy: Ecuadorian Govt ‘Protects US Interests’

Supporters of Ecuador’s Vice President Jorge Glas rally to support him outside the court where police stand guard during his sentencing in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017

Mary ManleyMexico granted former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas political asylum on April 5, 2024, following accusations he committed bribery while in office. In turn, Ecuador called Mexico’s decision illegal and demanded his return, eventually going on to break with international protocol by storming Mexico’s embassy in Quito.The raid on Mexico’s embassy and detention of former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas in Quito late Friday has provoked a war of words between two Latin American countries, one analyst has noted. Late Friday, the Ecuadorian government stormed the Mexican embassy to detain former Vice President Jorge Glas who had been sheltering in the diplomatic mission since December. Mexico announced Monday it would file a case against Ecuador at the International Court of Justice over the incident. The country also suspended diplomatic relations with Quito, claiming Mexican diplomats had sustained injuries as a result of the raid.Esteban Carrillo, a Beirut-based Ecuadorian journalist and editor for The Cradle, joined Sputnik’s Fault Lines program Monday to discuss what occurred in Quito and highlight Ecuador’s political trajectory in recent years.“This was the former Vice President Jorge Glas, who stayed as the vice president of… [former Ecuadorian President] Lenín Moreno, and it was Moreno that removed all of his functions,” Carrillo recalled.AmericasEcuador Detains Former Vice President Fearing His Possible Escape7 April, 06:29 GMTThe Beirut-based journalist explained that a charge of “psychic influence” was based on Glas’ perceived ability to influence cabinet ministers to commit acts of corruption, otherwise known as “influence peddling.” The same charge was lodged against former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, under whom Moreno served as vice president.Glas had served five years in prison for bribery and criminal conspiracy before being released in late 2022. In December 2023 he was sentenced to six more years in prison in a corruption case involving the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, which is now known as Novonor. Glas took refuge in the embassy that same month before an official warrant for his arrest was issued.”Mexico determined that he [Glas] was being politically persecuted and that this was a case of trumped up charges,” argued Carrillo. Ecuador, meanwhile, has argued that Glas’ detention was necessary to prevent his flight from Ecuador.Russia’s foreign ministry issued a statement urging calm as relations between Mexico and Ecuador have deteriorated dramatically. The country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized Moscow’s commitment to the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which guarantees immunity of diplomatic missions from search, requisition, seizure and enforcement actions.The ministry “expressed the hope that Latin American friends will avoid actions that could bring discord to traditionally non-conflict relations of good-neighborliness and partnership, and will find a mutually acceptable way out of the current situation.”

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