Ecuador’s Wrong Move

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryIn a move that has definitely broken international law, Ecuador’s government under Ecuadoran President Daniel Noboa conducted a semi-military police raid on the Mexican embassy in the country’s capital Quito. Their goal was to seize former Ecuadoran Vice-president Jorge Glas. Glas had taken refuge in the Mexican embassy in December of 2023. I will not touch on any of the pros and cons of why Glas was in the Mexican embassy, or whether he was a criminal or a political refugee. There is one principle that has to be upheld, and that is that any and all embassies are representatives of the governments they support and as such are considered sovereign territory of the countries they represent.

For the Ecuadoran government to unilaterally go into the Mexican embassy without permission, beat up and injure the diplomatic representatives of the Mexican government, and seize Glas who was on Mexican soil is a spit in the face of the Mexican government and against the people of Mexico. I seem to recall that the Ecuadoran embassy in London under former Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa argued that the Ecuadoran embassy was sovereign territory and could not be touched by the British government to go and arrest former WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange stayed at the Ecuadoran embassy for seven years from 2012 to 2019. Again the point is not the merits of what Assange did, but the fact that Britain had no right to willy-nilly go into any embassy it wanted to forcibly seize whomever they wanted.

Five years and a new Ecuadoran administration later, President Noboa has made it clear that he will stamp out crime and the gangs. Fine, that was why he was elected. But ransacking other countries’ embassies is not the way to do it. Mexico has taken this case before the International Court of Justice in the hope that it will make Ecuador pay. Mexico has already suspended diplomatic relations with Ecuador. It should go further and suspend all trade and any exchanges with Ecuador until the Ecuadoran government admits it was wrong and respect the sanctity of foreign countries’ embassies. Until then, other countries in the Americas should consider the Ecuadoran government a pariah.

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