Mexico removed its diplomatic staff and closed its embassy in Quito this Sunday, April 7 after the break in relations with Ecuador unleashed by the unprecedented police raid on the headquarters to capture former Ecuadorian vice president Jorge Glas.

The group of 18 people, made up of officials and their familieswent to the airport accompanied by the ambassadors of Germany, Panama, Cuba and Honduras, who ensured that his integrity was respected, according to the Mexican government.

“Our diplomatic staff left everything in Ecuador and returned home with their heads and the name of Mexico held high after an assault on our embassy,” Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena reported on the social network X.

The Mexicans traveled on a commercial airline after sending a military plane was ruled out due to tensions.

The press has been summoned for a message from the delegation, led by ambassador Raquel Serur, who was declared “persona non grata” by Quito, and the head of mission, Roberto Canseco, who was subdued by police during the raid on Friday.

The departure of the diplomats occurred after Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador declared the breakdown of relations due to the entry of police into the embassy, a fact that has been condemned by Latin American countries and also by the United States.

Nicaragua emulated Mexico and on Saturday also broke relations with Ecuador.

The Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations have rejected this action that violates “the inviolability” of diplomatic facilities enshrined in the 1961 Vienna Convention.

This Sunday, Spain and the European Union joined to rejection, pointing out the need to respect international standards.

Political tensions

Jorge Glas, accused of corruption and who was vice president in the government of Rafael Correa (2013-2018), He took refuge in the Mexican diplomatic headquarters since December alleging political persecution.

The diplomatic crisis began on Wednesday when López Obrador raised a parallel between the violence that marked the 2023 Ecuadorian presidential campaign, during which candidate Fernando Villavicencio was murdered, and the crime that is being recorded in Mexico ahead of the elections on December 2. June.

According to the Mexican president, the Villavicencio crime created a “rarefied atmosphere of violence” which caused the drop in the polls of the leftist candidate Luisa González and the rise of Daniel Noboa, who was the winner.

Quito declared the Mexican ambassador persona “non grata” on Thursday, to which López Obrador responded on Friday by granting asylum to Glas.

Noboa called this protection “illicit” and defended the operationalleging an “abuse of the immunities and privileges” granted to the diplomatic mission.

On Saturday, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Gabriela Sommerfeld justified the action by arguing that there was “a real risk of imminent escape” by Glas.

Mexico, which for a century has received politically persecuted people from different countries, claimed that The right to asylum is “sacred” and he denounced it as “a” flagrant violation of international law. and to his “sovereignty” the assault on his embassy.

Glas in prison

Glas, 54, was transferred on Saturday to a maximum security prison in Guayaquil (southwest) known as The Rock, according to government sources.

In images captured by AFP, the politician was seen with a contorted face as he was led away with his hands handcuffed by guards.

Former President Correa, exiled in Belgium since 2017 and sentenced in absentia to eight years in prison for corruption, described these events in X as “madness” and maintained that Glas “has difficulty walking because he was hit.”

Mexico announced that the embassy will remain closed indefinitely and that its approximately 1,600 citizens residing in Ecuador may be assisted through a network of the agency or in Mexican embassies in neighboring countries.

Mexico and Ecuador established diplomatic relations in 1830. Currently, Ecuador was seeking a visa-free agreement and was negotiating with Mexico to join the Pacific Alliance.

Mexico had only rotated relations with the Spain of Francisco Franco, the Chile of Augusto Pinochet and the Nicaragua of Anastasio Somoza.


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