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Tug of war over Ecuadorian ex-vice president

Ecuadorian security forces entered the Mexican embassy in Quito and arrested ex-Vice President Glas. The politician is wanted for corruption and Mexico granted him asylum.

The relationship between Ecuador and Mexico has been tense for a long time. Now a dispute over the former Ecuadorian deputy prime minister Jorge Glas is causing a further escalation: security forces in Ecuador broke into the Mexican embassy in Quito and arrested the politician there. This was announced by the governments of both Latin American countries. Mexico is breaking off diplomatic relations with Ecuador with immediate effect and will appeal to the International Court of Justice, said Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena.

Glas, wanted for corruption, had been staying at the Mexican representation in the Ecuadorian capital for months. On Friday, the Mexican Foreign Ministry announced that it would grant Glas asylum. The Foreign Ministry of the South American Ecuador then said that this violated international agreements. There is an arrest warrant against Glas for embezzlement and he will not be allowed to leave the country.

Convicted several times for corruption

Glas was Vice President of Ecuador during the second term of office of left-wing President Rafael Correa (2013-2017), who has since been convicted of corruption and lives in exile in Belgium, and at the beginning of the term of office of his successor Lenín Moreno (2017-2021).

At the end of 2017, he was found guilty of accepting bribes in exchange for awarding public contracts to the Brazilian company Odebrecht. He was sentenced to a total of eight years in prison in several corruption cases. Two years ago, Glas was released early because of the poor security situation in Ecuador's prisons.

Relationship has been strained for a long time

Only on Thursday did the Ecuadorian government of conservative President Daniel Noboa declare the Mexican ambassador persona non grata. The reason was an suggestion by the left-wing populist Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that the murder of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio last August in Ecuador had contributed to Noboa's election victory in October.

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