| Roberto Canseco Mexican diplomat after attempting to stop the car taking away Jorge Glas | MR Online Roberto Canseco, Mexican diplomat, after attempting to stop the car taking away Jorge Glas.

Latin America responds with unanimous condemnation to Ecuador’s storming of the Mexican Embassy in Quito

Originally published: Peoples Dispatch on April 7, 2024 by Zoe Alexandra (more by Peoples Dispatch)  | (Posted Apr 08, 2024)

The decision by the government of Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa to forcibly enter the Mexican Embassy in Quito with dozens of police officers to arrest former Ecuadorian official Jorge Glas has been met with widespread repudiation across Latin America and the Caribbean. Xiomara Castro, Honduran president and the president pro-tempore of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), announced on Saturday that two emergency meetings of CELAC would be held on Monday April 8 and Tuesday April 9 to address the situation in which the American Convention on Asylum and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations were both violated by Ecuador against Mexico.

Mexican authorities announced early on Saturday that in addition to suspending diplomatic relations with Ecuador, they would also take the case to the United Nations’ International Court of Justice (ICJ), a move which was applauded by several leaders in the region.

As the dust settles on the situation, many have predicted that further measures will be taken against Ecuador for what has been classified by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador as a “flagrant violation of international law and Mexican sovereignty”.

For his part, Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa has defended the move in a statement which largely ignores the country’s commitment to upholding international law and conventions. He stated: “No criminal can be considered to be facing political persecution. Jorge Glas has been condemned with a sentence and with an arrest warrant issued by the competent authorities.” He added,

Having abused the immunities and privileges given to a diplomatic mission that hosted Jorge Glas, and having granted him political asylum contrary to the conventional legal framework, we have proceeded with his arrest.

“Ecuador is a sovereign country and we will not allow any delinquent to enjoy impunity,” Noboa’s statement reads.

Glas has been suffering political persecution since 2017 as part of a right-wing Lawfare campaign against members of the progressive government of Rafael Correa. Dozens of former officials have been investigated for alleged corruption charges including the former president Correa himself, who has been banned from holding office for 25 years and faces an over 10-year prison sentence. Glas has since been transported to Guayaquil in a heavy militarized operation.

Latin America and the Caribbean stand with Mexico

Few in the region have endorsed Noboa’s spin on the events and have not only condemned the attack on Mexico’s sovereignty but have also condemned the persecution of Glas.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel expressed “all of our solidarity with Mexico after the unacceptable violation of its Embassy in Quito.” The Cuban leader emphasized that the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations must be respected and is a key element of international law. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez also condemned the violations of international law.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and Foreign Minister Yvan Gil both made declarations of solidarity with Mexico and against the detention of Jorge Glas. The Venezuelan head of state wrote,

It is an act of barbarism, something never seen in Latin America. The pro-Yankee right-wing government of Ecuador brutally violated International Law, assaulting the Mexican Embassy in Ecuador and kidnapping a political asylum seeker, thus recognized by the Mexican government. Venezuela raises its voice forcefully to reject this fascist act against International Law and expresses its full and absolute solidarity with the president AMLO and to the people of Mexico.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro commented,

I insist once again that in Latin America and the Caribbean, whatever the social and political constructions in each country, we must keep alive the precepts of international law in the midst of the barbarism that is advancing in the world and the democratic pact within the continent. Colombia respects the universal right to political asylum. All my solidarity to the diplomatic staff of Mexico in Quito.

Bolivian President Luis Arce emphasized in a statement the grave threat to Glas,

We reject the violation of the right to asylum after the kidnapping and detention of the former vice president of Ecuador, Jorge Glas, who was waiting for safe conduct at the Mexican diplomatic headquarters, evidencing not only the violation of international standards but also the to brotherhood and peaceful coexistence between the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Bolivian Foreign Ministry wrote in a statement,

Bolivia calls on the international community to condemn this unprecedented event in the democratic life of the region and to demand respect for International Law in order to maintain peace, stability and respect for the sovereignty of nations.

Many analysts have recalled that Mexico had also offered its embassy as a refuge to Bolivians who were being persecuted by the Jeanine Añez regime and far-right paramilitary groups in the aftermath of the 2019 coup. Evo Morales escaped the country amid threats to his life thanks to the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador. While the Mexican Embassy in La Paz was at times surrounded by police and subject to threats, even the coup government of Añez did not dare forcibly enter the premises.

The foreign ministries of Chile, Brazil, Guatemala, and Panama also issued statements condemning the violation of Mexico’s sovereignty and the unprecedented violation of international law.

Even the Foreign Ministry of the far-right government of Argentine President Javier Milei announced that Argentina “joins the countries of the region in condemning what happened last night at the Mexican Embassy in Ecuador and calls for full observance of the provisions and obligations arising from the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.” The Foreign Ministry of conservative Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou meanwhile i ssued a lukewarm statement expressing concern that tensions had been intensified between the two countries and called for a diplomatic resolution.

The platform of social movements ALBA Movimientos said that the incident at the Mexican Embassy along with the visit of Laura Richardson to Argentina this week are part of a strategy by the U.S. to sow instability in the region. In a statement published on April 6, ALBA wrote,

We denounce the implementation of this Plan Condor 2.0 promoted by U.S. imperialism, its European allies, and its local lackeys against Our America. Although they continue to try to interfere in our region to systematically violate International Law and Human Rights, we, the people, will be here willing to defend our sovereignty and independence, following in the footsteps of our liberating fathers and mothers.

Regional platforms ALBA-TCP, a sociopolitical platform of Caribbean and Latin American states. as well as Grupo de Puebla, the platform of progressive and social democratic politicians in Latin America and the Caribbean also released statements of condemnation against the actions of the Ecuadorian government.

Late on April 6, almost 20 hours after the incident, the State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller issued a short statement saying the U.S. condemns any violation of the Vienna Convention.

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