Mexico seeks UN suspension of Ecuador over Quito police raid on Mexican embassy

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico said Thursday it wants the United Nations to suspend Ecuador as part of a complaint to the International Court of Justice over Ecuadorian police raid last week on the Mexican embassy in Quito. Tensions between Mexico and Ecuador have increased since late last week when Ecuadorian authorities forced their way into the diplomatic mission to arrest Ecuador’s former Vice President Jorge Glas who had been staying there seeking asylum in Mexico.

Mexico filed its complaint Thursday at the International Court of Justice in the Netherlands asking the U.N. to suspend Ecuador, although a U.N. spokesman in New York said it would be up to other member states to decide on suspending a country. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, at a news conference in Mexico City, criticized Ecuador and said that the court, “in accordance with the United Nations charter, should approve the expulsion, and there should be no veto” from the U.N. Security Council.

López Obrador said Mexico is demanding a public apology from Ecuador for the raid, reparation of damages and a promise not to do it again. Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Gabriela Sommerfeld said her country would defend its actions and said an apology “is not something that is under discussion at this moment.”

The two countries have been disputing over Glas, a convicted criminal and fugitive, since he took refuge at Mexico’s embassy in December. Ecuador has argued that Glas has been targeted for crimes, not for political reasons, and that Mexico should not have been considering asylum for him. On April 5, Ecuadorian police scaled the embassy walls and broke into the building.

Roberto Canseco, Mexico’s head of consular affairs and the highest ranking diplomat present since Ecuador expelled the ambassador earlier in the week, tried to keep them from entering, even pushing a large cabinet in front of a door. But police restrained him and pushed him to the floor as they carried Glas out. A copy of Mexico’s formal complaint filed with the ICJ said, “Mr. Canseco was violently assaulted at the Embassy library,” adding, “This resulted in injuries to his arms, legs, face, back, and neck, as well as psychological harm.”

The complaint claims that “a member of the United Nations which has persistently violated the Principles contained therein may be expelled from the Organization.” It asked the court “to suspend Ecuador as member of the United Nations” until it issues “a public apology recognizing its violations to the fundamental principles and norms of international law” and agrees to reparations. said Thursday that “on the issue of membership suspended, it’s outlined in the (U.N.) Charter, it’s an issue for the member states to decide.”

Mexico, as well as foreign experts, say the raid on the embassy appeared to be a blatant violation of international accords. Mexico broke off diplomatic relations with Ecuador in response. Leaders across Latin America condemned Ecuador’s actions as a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. On Tuesday, Ecuador’s Deputy Minister of Human Mobility Alejandro Dávalos told representatives of the Organization of American States gathered in Washington, D.C. that Glas did not meet the requisites to merit receiving asylum from Mexico and could not be considered politically persecuted. But OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro noted that “the use of force, the illegal incursion into a diplomatic mission, nor the detention of an asylee are the peaceful way toward resolution of this situation.” He said Ecuador’s actions could not be allowed to set a precedent.