Ecuador Storms Mexican Embassy, Arrests Former Vice President

Escalating Tensions

Mexico’s President, Andres Manuel Obrador, has ordered relations with Ecuador to be suspended after Ecuadorian police raided Mexico’s embassy in Quito, the Ecuadorian capital. Ecuador’s police raided the embassy in order to arrest former Ecuador Vice President Jorge Glas.

During the raid, a brief altercation with the head of Mexico’s consular section, Roberto Canseco, occurred as he attempted to stop the Ecuadorian police vehicles from leaving. During the altercation, Canseco was knocked to the ground by police.

“It is ignominy for a state and this is totally unacceptable. They have beaten me, I have hit the ground. And I physically tried to prevent then from entering. Like criminals they raided the Mexican embassy in Ecuador” -Consular head Roberto Canseco

The raid took place a number of hours after Mexico announced that they would be providing asylum to the former VP, and called upon Ecuador to grant him safe passage in order for him to travel to Mexico. The grant of asylum followed several months of Glas having stayed in Mexico’s embassy, fleeing arrest from Ecuadorian authorities.

Glas, who has received two previous convictions of corruption, had a warrant issued for his arrest in January for bribery charges. Following Mexico’s granting of asylum to the former VP, Ecuador refused Mexico’s calls to grant him safe passage to Mexico, claiming that it was “not lawful” to grant asylum to those who have been convicted of a crime. They equally rejected Mexico’s attempt to grant asylum to Glas.

Ecuador’s initial statements regarding the granting of asylum by Mexico to former Ecuador Vice President Jorge Glas.

Ecuador had reportedly gathered a heavy police presence outside the embassy prior to the raid, which was condemned by Mexico. Ecuador had many times requested permission to enter the embassy and arrest Glas, permission which Mexico denied. It appears the granting of asylum prompted Ecuador to go ahead with the arrest regardless of Mexico’s thoughts.

“Persona Non Grata”

The granting of asylum and Glas’ arrest came after a brief but rapid rise in tensions between Mexico and Ecuador, a rise that President Obrador had claimed was mostly one sided.

Following comments made by President Obrador in an interview on Wednesday, Ecuador declared Mexico’s ambassador to the nation, Raquel Serur Smeke, as “persona non grata,” and requested that the ambassador leave the country “soon.”

President Obrador had made comments that suggested political assassinations in Ecuador the following year had significantly altered the results of Ecuador’s 2023 elections.

“A male candidate who speaks ill of the female candidate who was on top is suddenly murdered, and the female candidate who was at the top falls” -President Obrador

The President’s comments were in relation to the assassination of Fernando Villavicencio, a candidate in the Presidential election. He was murdered in August of 2023, several weeks before voting was to begin.

At the time, Luisa Gonzalez, another candidate, was the front-runner of the election. Villavicencio was a long time critic of Gonzalez’s party, and the assassination prompted much speculation within Ecuadorian media.

When the election time came, Gonzalez narrowly lost to Daniel Noboa, the current President of Ecuador.

President Obrador defended his remarks, claiming he was mostly being critical of the media response to the assassination, accusing them of creating a “heated atmosphere” prior to the election.

Before the raid, President Obrador had denied the existence of a dispute between Ecuador and Mexico, stating that “for there to be a fight, there need to be two parties involved.” The raid has since changed that, with Mexico now suspending relations with Ecuador.

Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray is a published journalist and historicist with over 5 years experience in writing. His primary focus is on East and West African affairs.


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