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Mexico breaks diplomatic ties with Ecuador over embassy raid

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Mexico is breaking diplomatic ties with Ecuador after police raided its embassy in Quito to arrest former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas.

Confirming the move in a statement to CNNE, a foreign ministry spokesperson said that all Mexican diplomatic staff would leave Ecuador immediately.

Ecuadorian police stormed the Mexican embassy in Ecuador’s capital Quito on Friday night to arrest the former vice president, who is seeking asylum there, an escalation of tensions that Mexico decried as “an outrage against international law.”

Former Ecuador Vice President Jorge Glas speaks during an interview at his office in Quito on September 12, 2017.(Dolores Ochoa/AP via CNN Newsource)
Former Ecuador Vice President Jorge Glas, seen here in 2017, was arrested after a raid on the Mexican Embassy in Quito, Ecuador, late Friday. (Dolores Ochoa/Associated Press via CNN Newsource)

Video from the scene showed police officers massing around the embassy, some armed. Embassies are generally considered as protected spaces under diplomatic norms.

Glas has since been transferred to the Guayas No. 3 Deprivation of Liberation Center, a maximum-security prison in Guayaquil known as La Roca, the national prisons agency SNAI announced Saturday.

A rift between the two Latin American countries had been growing since Mexico’s decision to grant political asylum to Glas, vice president under leftist ex-President Rafael Correa between 2013 and 2017.

Convicted twice on corruption charges, Glas says he is the subject of political persecution and had been sheltering inside the embassy.

But on Friday, Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on his official X account, said he had been informed that “police from Ecuador forcibly entered” the Mexican embassy and took Glas – who “was a refugee and processing asylum because of the persecution and harassment he faces.”

A statement released by Ecuador’s government on X also confirmed the arrest.

Glas was “sentenced to imprisonment by the Ecuadorian justice system,” the statement from Ecuador’s government read, and was “arrested tonight and placed under the orders of the competent authorities.” He had been granted diplomatic asylum “contrary to the conventional legal framework,” the government said.

“What you have just seen is an outrage against international law and the inviolability of the Mexican embassy in Ecuador,” Roberto Canseco, head of chancellery and policy affairs of the Mexican embassy, told a reporter from CNNE, calling Glas’s arrest “totally unacceptable.”

“It is barbarism,” Canseco added. “It is impossible for them to violate the diplomatic premises as they have done.”



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