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Caught On Camera: Ecuador Police Raid On Mexican Embassy

It could easily have been mistaken for a robbery attempt caught on camera. Only, it wasn’t. The Mexican foreign ministry has released visuals that capture what it calls excesses by security personnel at its embassy in Ecuador’s capital Quito.

The men who forced their way into the embassy building were Ecuadorean policemen. They pointed a gun at Mexico’s diplomat Roberto Canseco who tried to block their way. They manhandled him, not once but many times over, throwing him on the ground.

The so-called ‘mission’ by the police was accomplished when they physically carried a man out of the embassy. The target was Ecuador’s former vice-president Jorge Glas who had taken shelter at the embassy since December last year.

Tension had been simmering between the two countries ever since.

Glas, who has been convicted of corruption, was out on parole after serving more than half of his eight-year jail sentence.

Ecuador had asked Mexico to tell Glas to leave the embassy premises, which did not happen. A judge then ruled Glas had to serve his full sentence and ordered his arrest.

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Last month, Ecuador sought Mexico’s permission to enter the embassy to arrest Glas.

The tipping point came about a week ago, when the Mexican president commented about Ecuador’s presidential elections, saying the death of a presidential candidate influenced the poll outcome.

Mexico has already snapped diplomatic ties with Ecuador after the embassy raid. It says partners such as the United States and Canada have been very ambiguous in their response to the incident.

“There were very ambiguous statements on this grievance from the United States and Canada. We are economic and commercial partners and we are neighbours. But their position was very undefined,” said Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

As if on cue, the American response was critical of Ecuador. “The Ecuadorian government disregarded its obligations under international law as a host state to respect the inviolability of diplomatic missions and jeopardized the foundation of basic diplomatic norms and relationships. We’ve asked Ecuador to work with Mexico to find a resolution to this diplomatic dispute,” said US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

With inputs from Reuters