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Mexico asks ICJ to expel Ecuador from UN

Mexico has appealed to the International Court of Justice to boot Ecuador from the United Nations, following a late night police raid on its embassy…

Mexico has appealed to the International Court of Justice to boot Ecuador from the United Nations, following a late night police raid on its embassy in Quito.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Mexico filed a complaint with the court on Thursday, calling Ecuador’s actions a violation of international law.

“The court, in accordance with the United Nations Charter, should approve the expulsion, and there should be no veto,” Lopez Obrador said at a news conference.

On social media, Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena echoed the president’s statement, saying Ecuador should be held “to account for flagrant violation of the inviolability of our embassy and attacks on our staff”.

Mexico’s case centres on a controversial police raid that resulted in the capture of former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas, who had been sheltering in the Mexican embassy in Quito to avoid arrest.

Embassies are considered protected spaces. Although they are not “foreign soil” – a common misconception – international law places them off limits to local police.

That, in turn, allows embassy employees to carry out their work without fear of arrest or harassment from local authorities.

The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, for example, says: “The premises of the [diplomatic] mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.”

However, this “rule of inviolability” has also been used by political dissidents and other figures to avoid arrest by taking shelter in a foreign embassy.

Glas, for instance, has been twice convicted on bribery and corruption charges. He was sentenced in 2017 to six years in prison and again in 2020 to an eight-year sentence.

Since December, Glas had sought refuge in the Mexican embassy, and shortly before his arrest on Friday, President Lopez Obrador had offered him political asylum in Mexico.

But late on Friday night, Ecuadorian police scaled the wall of the Mexican embassy, bursting through its doors and pointing a gun at one of its chief diplomatic officers.

Video released by the Mexican government on Wednesday shows that officer, diplomat Roberto Canseco, being thrown to the ground as he tried to block police vehicles leaving the embassy with Glas inside. (Aljazeera)

 

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