Military officials stand guard outside the Flagrancy Unit, where former Ecuador Vice President Jorge Glas is believed to be detained, in Quito, Ecuador on April 6, 2024. KAREN TORO/REUTERS

Mexico suspends relations with Ecuador after arrest of former vice president

Ecuadorean authorities arrested former Vice President Jorge Glas on Friday evening, seizing him from the Mexican embassy and prompting Mexico to suspend bilateral relations.

Glas, convicted twice for corruption, had been holed up in the embassy in Quito since seeking political asylum in December, a request Mexico granted earlier on Friday.

Police forcefully entered Mexico’s embassy in Quito before making the arrest, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador posted on X.

The Ecuadorean president’s office said in a statement it had arrested Glas, who was vice president under the leftist government of Rafael Correa between 2013 and 2017.

There was a heavy military presence at the magistrates court in the Andean capital, where the former vice president was taken.

The arrest caps a week of escalating tensions between Mexico and Ecuador, which on Thursday declared Mexico’s ambassador in Quito persona non grata, citing “unfortunate” comments from the leftist President Lopez Obrador.

Ecuador contends that Mexico’s asylum offer was illegal.

In a statement, Ecuador’s presidency accused Mexico of “having abused the immunities and privileges granted to the diplomatic mission that housed the former vice president, and granting diplomatic asylum contrary to the conventional legal framework.”

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