Mexico cuts ties with Ecuador after embassy raid

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced April 5 the suspension of diplomatic ties with Ecuador following the forcible entry of Ecuadorian police into the Mexican embassy in Quito and the subsequent arrest of the country's former vice president Jorge Glas. These events occurred one day after the Ecuadorian government decided to expel the Mexican ambassador Raquel Serur in response to statements made by López Obrador.

Through his Twitter account, López Obrador strongly denounced the police intrusion into the embassy and the subsequent detention of Glas, who had been in the embassy since Dec. 17, having been granted political asylum by the Mexican government. López Obrador stated that the invasion of the embassy was "a flagrant violation of international law and the sovereignty of the State of Mexico."

The National Court of Justice of Ecuador issued an arrest warrant for Glas, who served as vice president from 2013 to 2017 and had later been convicted of illicit association, bribery and embezzlement (delito de peculado). His lawyer, Eduardo Franco Loor, asserted that Glas has been subject to political persecution since his government lost power. 

In an official statement released April 5, Ecuador's Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed that it provided Mexico with information regarding the conviction of Glas and the arrest warrant issued against him. The ministry claimed that diplomatic asylum for Glas was not authorized by the provisions of Article III of the 1954 Convention on Diplomatic Asylum or Article 1 of the 1933 Convention on Political Asylum. These articles stipulate that it is not lawful to grant asylum to persons who have been convicted or are being prosecuted for common crimes by competent ordinary courts.

Ecuador's Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabriela Sommerfeld stated during an April 6 press conference that the decision was taken to forcibly enter the embassy because of the imminent risk of Glas fleeing the country.

Sommerfeld also described as "unfortunate" and "contrary to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states" the statements made April 3 by López Obrador, commenting on how the assassination of Ecuadorian presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio affected the results of the country's 2023 presidential election. López Obrador suggested that leftist candidate Luisa González, who was the front-runner for a time, was unfairly blamed by the media for the assassination of Villavicencio, and ultimately lost the election to now-incumbent president Daniel Noboa. As a result of these statements, the Ecuadorian government decided, invoking Article 9 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), to declare the Mexican ambassador in Quito persona non grata.

The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) issued a press release April 6, expressing its rejection of any action that endangers the inviolability of the premises of diplomatic missions. The General Secretariat called for dialogue between Ecuador and Mexico and convened a meeting of the Permanent Council of the OAS to address the issue.

The governments of several countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, also strongly condemned the forcible entry into the Mexican embassy.

From Jurist, April 6. Used with permission.

Ecuador: ex-vice president Jorge Glas will remain incarcerated

The National Court of Justice of Ecuador decided April 12 that former vice president Jorge Glas must remain in jail despite denouncing his arrest at the Mexican Embassy as illegal. The habeas corpus petition filed to request his release stemmed from his detention during the raid at the Mexican Embassy last week. (Jurist)

Ecuador mayor murdered amid nationwide escalating violence

Ecuadorian police confirmed the murder of the mayor of Ecuador’s Camilo Ponce Enriquez canton (Azuay province), José Sánchez, on Apri 17 amid escalating violence against public authorities in the country. Sánchez was jogging with his security team around Nuevo Ponce when individuals armed with rifles arrived in a vehicle and opened fire, according to the police. (Jurist)

Another Ecuador mayor murdered

The mayor of a mining town in violence-riddled Ecuador was shot dead Apri 19 in the second such killing in recent days ahead of this weekend's referendum, in which voters will be asked to approve tougher measures against organized crime.

Jorge Maldonado, the mayor of Portovelo, El Oro province, "fell victim to gunshots that resulted in his death," police said. He was gunned down by two attackers on a motorcycle.

Maldonado was the fifth Ecuadoran mayor assassinated in a year, and the third in less than a month. Two days before his killing, the mayor of Camilo Ponce Enriquez in the southern province of Azuay, Jose Sanchez, was shot dead. And last month, Brigitte Garcia, the 27-year-old mayor of coastal San Vicente, was found dead in a car along with the municipality’s communications director. (France24)

Ecuador brings Mexico before ICJ

Ecuador initiated proceedings against Mexico before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) April 29 for allegedly violating international law by giving political asylum to former vice president Jorge Glas. (Jurist)

'Internal armed conflict' declared in Ecuador

Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa declared a state of emergency on April 30 in five provinces through Executive Decree No. 250, citing a state of "internal armed conflict." The named provinces are El Oro, Guayas, Los Rios, Manabí and Santa Elena. (Jurist)