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Mexico’s president says country will break diplomatic ties with Ecuador, after police raid embassy

In World
April 06, 2024

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Friday evening the country will break diplomatic ties with Ecuador after police broke into the Mexican embassy in Quito.

The announcement came after Ecuadorian police officers forcibly broke into the Mexican embassy in Quito, detaining former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas, who was seeking political asylum there, as a diplomatic rift between the two countries deepened.

Glas, arguably the most wanted man in Ecuador, faces investigations of corruption, bribery and more.

The police broke the external doors of the Mexican diplomatic headquarters in the Ecuadorian capital and entered the main patio.

“Ecuador is a sovereign nation and we are not going to allow any criminal to stay free,” wrote Ecuador’s Presidency in a statement Friday night.

López Obrador fired back calling Glas’ detention an “authoritarian act” and “a flagrant violation of international law and the sovereignty of Mexico.”

Alicia Bárcena, Mexico’s secretary of foreign relations, added that a number of diplomats suffered injuries in the incident and said it violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

Experts watching the arrest pointed out the act was a bold violation of the Vienna Conventions on Consular Relations, something that is likely to put a firm wedge between the governments of Mexico and Ecuador.

“This is not possible, it cannot be, this is crazy,” said Roberto Canseco, head of the Mexican consular section in Quito, outside the embassy.

Asked about the situation of former Vice President Glas and if he was apprehended by public forces, he stated: “I understand that yes, I am very worried because they could kill him; there is no basis to do this, this is totally outside the norm.”

Ecuador’s foreign ministry and Ecuador’s ministry of the interior did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

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

A day earlier, tensions between the two countries escalated after Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador made statements that Ecuador considered “very unfortunate” about the last elections in which the Ecuadorian president Daniel Noboa won.

In reaction, the Ecuadorian government declared the Mexican ambassador persona non grata.

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Follow AP’s coverage of Latin America and the Caribbean at https://apnews.com/hub/latin-america

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