Mexico calls on UN to expel Ecuador over embassy raid as tensions soar

Estimated read time 3 min read

Mexico is demanding that the United Nations expel Ecuador from the world body as part of a complaint to the top UN court over a police raid last week on the Mexican embassy in Quito.

Tensions between Mexico and Ecuador have soared since late last week when Ecuadorian authorities forced their way into the diplomatic mission to arrest Ecuador’s former vice-president Jorge Glas who had been holed up there seeking asylum in Mexico.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said his country had filed a complaint at the international court of justice in the Netherlands asking the UN to expel Ecuador.

“The court, in accordance with the United Nations charter, should approve the expulsion, and there should be no veto” from the UN security council, López Obrador said.

López Obrador also said Mexico was demanding a public apology from Ecuador for last week’s raid, reparation of damages and a promise not to do it again. The Ecuadorian foreign minister, Gabriela Sommerfeld, said her country would defend its actions and said an apology “is not something that is under discussion at this moment”.

The two countries have been tussling over Glas, a convicted criminal and fugitive, since he took refuge at Mexico’s embassy in December.

Ecuador has argued that Glas has been targeted for crimes not for political reasons and that Mexico should not have been considering asylum for him. On 5 April, Ecuadorian police scaled the embassy walls and broke into the building.

Roberto Canseco, Mexico’s head of consular affairs and the highest-ranking diplomat present since Ecuador expelled the ambassador earlier in the week, tried to keep them from entering, even pushing a large cabinet in front of a door. But police restrained him and pushed him to the floor as they carried Glas out.

Mexico, as well as foreign experts, say it appeared to be a blatant violation of international accords. Mexico broke off diplomatic relations with the country in response. Leaders across Latin America condemned Ecuador’s actions as a violation of the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations.

On Tuesday, Ecuador’s deputy minister of human mobility, Alejandro Dávalos, told representatives of the Organization of American States (OAS) gathered in Washington DC that Glas did not meet the requisites to merit receiving asylum from Mexico and could not be considered politically persecuted.

But the OAS secretary general, Luis Almagro, noted that “the use of force, the illegal incursion into a diplomatic mission, nor the detention of an asylee are the peaceful way toward resolution of this situation”. He said Ecuador’s actions could not be allowed to set a precedent.


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