Ecuador’s Ex-VP Hospitalised After Capture In Embassy Raid

Ecuador’s ex-vice president, Jorge Glas, who was seized in a raid on Mexico’s embassy in Quito, has been hospitalized after refusing to eat, the jail authority said Monday, as a diplomatic conflict over his capture escalated.

Glas, 54, was in stable condition at a naval hospital in Guayaquil, according to a SNAI statement, and will be monitored.

Ecuador raided Mexico’s embassy on Friday to apprehend Glas, who took asylum there in December while facing a corruption investigation.

Only hours earlier, Mexico had granted him political refugee status.

Glas’s Brussels-based lawyer told AFP early on Monday that she was concerned for his safety and begged for international assistance.

“I feel Jorge Glas is in considerable, if not imminent, danger at the hands of the Ecuadorian government. Sonia Vera said, “It was a kidnapping, and I believe they could have killed him at any time.”

According to the SNAI statement, Glas did not react during roll call at Guayas prison on Monday.

He appeared to have become ill after refusing to eat for 24 hours, and was rushed to the hospital.

According to local media and a police report, Glas entered a “self-induced coma” after taking antidepressants.

Ecuadoran special forces, armed with a battering ram, encircled the Mexican embassy late Friday, and at least one agent scaled the walls in an almost unprecedented raid on diplomatic facilities, which are considered inviolable sovereign property.

The intrusion sparked a political storm, with Mexico, numerous other Latin American countries, Spain, the European Union, and the UN secretary-general criticizing it as a violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on international relations.

Mexico, which severed diplomatic relations and withdrew diplomatic personnel from Ecuador, said it will file a protest with the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Leaders of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will meet virtually on Friday to debate a proposal for “firm condemnation” and possible sanctions against Ecuador, Honduran President Xiomara Castro, who chairs the bloc, said in a statement Monday.

‘Truly authoritarian’ 

Mexico’s president said Monday that the raid was a “truly authoritarian” decision by his Ecuadorian colleague, Daniel Noboa, 36, who entered office in November.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stated at a regular news conference that weak governments without popular support or capacity often bring inexperienced leaders to power.

However, “politics is a noble profession,” and when you lack experience or popular support, “you must act with prudence, balancing passion and reason,” he said.

Noboa stated that he was eager to “resolve any difference” with Mexico, but justified his government’s actions by claiming Glas posed a flight risk.

“We could not allow sentenced criminals involved in very serious crimes to be given asylum,” he told reporters.

Foreign Minister Gabriela Sommerfeld noted that Quito is eager to “reestablishing relations with Mexico while respecting our country’s sovereignty.”

Glas, who worked for graft-convicted socialist ex-president Rafael Correa from 2013 to 2017, was freed from prison in November 2022 after spending five years for corruption.

He faces new graft charges, and an arrest warrant was issued in January.

The storming of the embassy occurred during a diplomatic quarrel between Mexico and Ecuador.

Lopez Obrador irritated Quito days before the raid by claiming that the death of a popular candidate ahead of Ecuador’s elections last year increased the chances of Noboa, who campaigned on cracking down on the narco crime that has plagued the once-peaceful country.

The Ecuadorian government called the statements disrespectful and asked the Mexican envoy to leave.

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