Caricom condemns Ecuador’s storming of Mexican Embassy

…urges adherence to int’l law, rules of diplomatic engagement

Ecuador’s decision to storm the Mexican Embassy in its capital of Quito, all so it could arrest controversial former Vice President Jorge Glas, continues to attract condemnation – this time from the Caribbean Community (Caricom), under the chairmanship of President Dr Irfaan Ali.
In a statement on Sunday, Caricom expressed deep concern over Ecuador’s actions, which has resulted in international and regional condemnation and Mexico’s decision to sever diplomatic ties with Ecuador.

Former Vice President Jorge Glas after being arrested

“The Member States of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) reaffirm the importance of adherence to the principles of international law and rules of diplomatic engagement enshrined in the Vienna Convention which codifies the inviolability of diplomatic missions and consular offices,” Caricom said.
“Caricom is therefore deeply concerned that the Republic of Ecuador has recently taken actions that have violated the premises of the Embassy of Mexico in Quito,” the regional bloc further said.
Meanwhile, Caricom expressed optimism that both Ecuador and Mexico would work to resolve the current matter “through dialogue and access to relevant multilateral process with a view to ensuring that our Region remains one of peace.”
As reported by CNN, Ecuador’s security forces stormed the Mexican embassy in Quito on Friday evening to arrest former Vice President Glas, who is accused of corruption and up until then had been seeking asylum in the embassy. Glas, who has alleged he’s being politically persecuted, has since been transferred to a maximum-security prison in Guayaquil known as La Roca.
Following his arrest, the United Nations (UN), as well as a number of Latin American countries – including Brazil and Argentina – have supported Mexico and condemned Ecuador. Several have pointed out that Ecuador’s actions are a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the international treaty that regulates relations between countries.

A scene from the raid

According to Article 22 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the premises of diplomatic missions are inviolable – barring any right of entry by law enforcement officers of the receiving State and imposing on the receiving State a special duty to protect the premises against intrusion, damage, disturbance of the peace or infringement of dignity.
Even in response to abuse of this inviolability or emergency, the premises may not be entered without the consent of the head of mission. Article 24 ensures the inviolability of mission archives and documents – even outside mission premises – so that the receiving State may not seize or inspect them or permit their use in legal proceedings.
Soon after the arrest, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had ordered the immediate suspension of diplomatic ties with Ecuador. In a social media post, Obrador had said that the arrest was a “flagrant violation of international law and the sovereignty of Mexico.”
For its part, Ecuador has defended its actions. At a news conference Saturday, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Gabriela Sommerfeld claimed that the raid was carried out “in the face of a real risk of imminent escape.”
Sommerfeld also accused Mexico of violating the principle of non-intervention by letting Glas stay in the embassy and evade an order to appear regularly before authorities in a corruption probe.
She had also dismissed Mexico’s claim that Glas was being politically persecuted, saying: “For Ecuador, no criminal can be considered a politically-persecuted person when he has been convicted with an enforceable sentence and with an arrest warrant issued by the judicial authorities.”