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Ecuador: US, Spain, Honduras slam Mexico embassy raid

April 7, 2024

International leaders called out the violation of Vienna treaties where premises of diplomatic missions are considered "inviolable" after Ecuadorian police raided the Mexican embassy in Quito to make an arrest.

A military vehicle transports former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas from the detention center where he was held after police broke into the Mexican Embassy to arrest him in Quito, Ecuador, Saturday, April 6, 2024
Relations between Ecuador and Mexico had soured in recent monthsImage: Dolores Ochoa/AP Photo/picture alliance

The international fallout has continued since police in Ecuador broke into the Mexican Embassy in Quito to arrest a former vice president who had been granted asylum.

The United States, Spain and Honduras have joined the growing chorus of outrage following Friday's police raid.

Diplomatic premises are considered foreign soil and "inviolable" under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.

International leaders condemn raid

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said: "The United States condemns any violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and takes very seriously the obligation of host countries under international law to respect the inviolability of diplomatic missions." He called on both countries to resolve their difference.

Meanwhile, Spain's Foreign Ministry said Sunday: "The entry by force into the Embassy of Mexico in Quito constitutes a violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. We call for respect for international law and harmony between Mexico and Ecuador, brotherly countries to Spain and members of the Ibero-American community."

Honduran President Xiomara Castro, writing on X, characterized the raid as "an intolerable act for the international community" and a "violation of the sovereignty of the Mexican State and international law" because "it ignores the historical and fundamental right to asylum."

Canada said Saturday it was "deeply concerned at Ecuador’s apparent breach of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations by entering the Embassy of Mexico without authorization." 

People seeking asylum have lived at embassies around the world. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stayed at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for seven years, as British police could not arrest him.

Mexico cuts diplomatic ties with Ecuador 

Mexico's government ended diplomatic ties with Ecuador after police on Friday night arrested former Vice President Jorge Glas who had been residing there since December.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador called the episode a “flagrant violation of international law and the sovereignty of Mexico.” He said the Ecuadorian police had used force to enter the embassy. 

Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena wrote on X on Friday that several diplomats suffered injuries during the incident.

Glas sought political asylum at the embassy after being indicted on corruption charges.

rm/kb (Reuters, AP)

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