Ecuador Heading Towards Lawlessness

The Ecuadorian army entered the Mexican Embassy in Quito and removed former Ecuadorian Vice President Jose Glas, who had been granted political asylum and residing there since last year.

On the evening of April 5th, the Ecuadorian army entered the Mexican Embassy in Quito and removed former Ecuadorian Vice President Jose Glas, who had been granted political asylum and residing there since last year.

Roberto Canseco, the leader of Mexican Embassy, spoke to the press shortly following the apprehension of Mr. Glas: “This cannot be. This is madness! I’m worried because they might kill him. There is no basis to do this. This is totally outside the norm. They’re doing it because he’s being persecuted. I am totally defenseless, the country is taken over by this group. This is the worst case I have ever experienced in my career,” he said.

Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa has officially released the following statement:

“The National Government announces that Jorge Glas Espinel, who was sentenced by Ecuadorian courts, has been apprehended this evening and transferred to the competent authorities.

Every embassy has only one purpose: to serve as a diplomatic space in order to strengthen relations between countries.

No criminal can be considered to be prosecuted on political grounds. Jorge Glas has been finally sentenced and a warrant for his arrest has been issued by the relevant authorities.

Ecuador currently finds itself amidst a non-international armed conflict, with potential repercussions on democratic principles and civil harmony. Should violations of law, national autonomy, or meddling in the nation’s matters persist or be tolerated, the severity of such consequences is likely to escalate.

The inappropriate use of immunities and privileges provided to the diplomatic mission where Mr. Glas was located, as well as the conferral of diplomatic asylum to him in violation of established norms, ultimately led to his arrest.

Ecuador is a sovereign country, and we will not allow any criminal to go unpunished.

We reiterate our respect for the Mexican people who share our views on fighting the corruption that plagues our countries.”

Nevertheless, trespassing into the premises of a foreign embassy is considered a breach of Article 22 of the Vienna Convention, which stipulates:

  1. The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.
  2. The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity.

Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena formally announced the decision to suspend diplomatic relations with Ecuador on April 6. This move was made in consultation with President López Obrador and was prompted by the blatant breach of Vienna Convention, as well as the harm inflicted upon Mexican diplomatic personnel in Ecuador. As a result, Mexico has chosen to immediately terminate relations with Ecuador.”

On that very day, diplomats from Mexico started preparing to swiftly depart from Ecuador by packing up their personal belongings.

According to reports, Mexico is expected to bring its case to the UN International Court of Justice to denounce the breaches of international law resulting from the police incursion at its embassy in Quito.

The minister later said Mexico would send a report to UN Secretary-General António Guterres on the diplomatic crisis with Ecuador, exacerbated by the severing of official ties. The incident received strong backing from the international community, with 20 Latin American countries, 10 European nations, and numerous international organizations issuing condemnations. Additionally, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States held meetings to analyze the events.

The Nicaraguan government has decided to cut off all diplomatic ties with Ecuador, following a similar move by Mexico.

The actions taken by Ecuadorian police against the Mexican embassy in Quito on April 5th were strongly criticized by Brazil in a statement issued. The action taken by Ecuador sets a serious precedent and must be strongly criticized, regardless of the reasons for its implementation. Brazil finally expresses its solidarity with the Mexican government.”

Inside Ecuador, the opposition also backed Mexico. The Civic Revolution movement, led by Vice President Viviana Velos and supported by 51 other members, emphasized their refusal to condone authoritarian practices or violate constitutional laws and international norms.

Moreover, the legal team has begun to prepare a formal complaint because of the “lack of communication with Jorge Glas at the La Roca Detention Center for more than 48 hours,” which, according to attorney Vera Garcia, “violates their fundamental rights and jeopardizes their security,” before which they demand “access to information,” responsiveness, and transparency.”

Based on recent updates, Mr. Glas is currently receiving medical care in a prison facility. Rumors are conflicting — some sources say there was an attempted murder and others say it was a suicide.

The Ecuadorian Constitution provides for the remedy of Habeas Corpus to restore the freedom of individuals who have been unjustly deprived of their liberty by a public authority or any person. This remedy also aims to safeguard the life and physical well-being of those who are currently free.

And even the US has condemned the actions of Ecuadorian authorities. The State Department reports: “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. Mexico and Ecuador are crucial partners of the United States, and we place a high value on our relations with both countries. We encourage the two countries to resolve their differences in accord with international norms.”

As Daniel Noboa is a politician who aligns with Washington and also has interests in the banana industry, this statement should hit him like a cold shower. However, it’s worth noting that he was merely observing and drawing inspiration from the actions of US in violating international law. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova pointed out that since 2016, the US has confiscated, or, in simple terms, seized in a raid, six diplomatic premises that belong to our country as private property — recreation facilities in Maryland and New York, the trade mission building in Washington, the office building of the Consulate General and the residence of the Consular General in San Francisco, and the residence of the Consular General in Seattle.”

Noboa, apparently, just forgot the Roman saying — Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi, which means “what is allowed to Jupiter is not allowed to the bull.” Domestic issues need to be distinguished from foreign policy activities.

As a result, what might be the consequences of a breakdown in relations between Mexico and Ecuador?

– Individuals with degrees from universities in Mexico will not be able to register them in Ecuador.

– All exports from Ecuador to Mexico and vice versa will be banned.

– Mexican visas will no longer be issued to Ecuador (Ecuadorians will not be able to travel to Mexico).

– The Organization of American States will leave it to each member country to determine which economic sanctions to impose on Ecuador.

– Ecuadorians studying in Mexico will not be able to renew their student visas.

– Ecuadorians who are in Mexico illegally and have been detained will not be deported to Ecuador and will remain to serve their prison sentences in Mexico.

– Ecuadorian planes will not be able to fly over Mexican territory.

We’ll hear about these and possible other restrictions in the news soon.

Regarding the current state within the country, characterized by widespread criminal activity and a declining socio-economic environment, Noboa’s administration will face significant challenges. External and internal pressures will now consolidate around this egregious case.

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