Jorge Glas, Correa's trusted man: how the Mexico-Ecuador diplomatic crisis broke out

On the night of this Friday, March 5, the Ecuadorian police broke into the Mexican diplomatic headquarters in Quito to arrest Glas, a trusted man of the former leftist president. Rafael Correa (2007 – 2017), fugitive from justice for corruption.

With this, The two arrest warrants against the former vice president were issued. One, for failure to comply with a precautionary measure of presentation and another for alleged embezzlement in the “Manabí” case, a series of public works contracted after the devastating earthquake of 2016.

The images of this important operation, with no recent history, shocked the world, and led the Mexican presidentAndrés Manuel López Obrador, to immediately break diplomatic relations with Ecuador.

López Obrador, who had announced the sending of a military plane to pick up his ambassador, Raquel Serurdeclared persona non grata after the diplomatic crisis that began this week, described the police raid as “flagrant violation of international law and the sovereignty of Mexico”.

However, the government of Noboa, the youngest president in the history of Ecuador, who had The asylum granted by the López Obrador government is branded “illicit”argued the action through a statement, in which it indicated that “no criminal can be considered politically persecuted”.

He stated that the Mexican diplomatic mission had “abused immunities and privileges” by granting asylum “contrary to the conventional legal framework” to Glas, who was transferred this Saturday morning to the Guayas Deprivation of Liberty Center (CPL) n. #3, maximum security prison known as La Roca, in Guayaquil. “Ecuador is a sovereign country and we are not going to allow any criminal to go unpunished,” the president said in a statement.

The document highlights the internal armed conflict declared last January, whose repercussions on democracy and citizen peace, it states, will increase if acts of “interference” in the country's internal affairs are allowed.

Who is Jorge Glas?

Glas is a 54-year-old electrical engineerwho served as vice president of Ecuador on two occasions, during the third term of the leader of the Citizen Revolution (RC), Rafael Correa, and then of President Lenín Moreno (2017 – 2021).

During the Correa government, he also held senior positions related to strategic sectors: he presided over the defunct Solidarity Fund, the Ministry of Telecommunications and the Ministry of Coordination of Strategic Sectors.

These charges, according to the Ecuadorian media The universeallowed Glas gain Correa's trusta fugitive from Ecuadorian justice since 2018, sentenced to eight years in prison in 2020 for corruption crimes.

The former Correísta vice president, who tried to compete in last year's presidential elections, has two final sentences against him: A six year oldDecember 2017, for the crime of illicit association in the Odebrech caset; and another eight years old issued in 2020, three years later, for being co-author of the crime of aggravated passive bribery in the case “Bribes 2012 – 2016”along with Correa.

Probation violation?

Glas was serving his sentence on a kind of conditional release from 2022, due to a precautionary measure granted by the judge of Emerson Curipallo, detained and prosecuted since last December by the Metastasis case, which revealed the establishment of “narcopolitics” in the South American nation, according to statements by the Ecuadorian attorney general, Diana Salazar.

The former vice president, whose sentences were unified by a request accepted by penitentiary judge Melissa Muñoz, had to appear before the authorities weekly. However, since last December, when He took refuge in the Mexican embassy after his request for pre-release was denieddid not attend the presentations, so the measure was revoked and the arrest warrant was processed to complete his sentence.

Furthermore, in January another preventive detention order was added to him for the crime of embezzlement in the Manabí Reconstruction case, which the Ecuadorian Prosecutor's Office is investigating for his interventions as former vice president and former president of the Committee for the Reconstruction and Reactivation of Productive and Employment.

Crisis Mexico – Ecuador

The former vice president, who has tried to sell his court case as one of “political persecution,” requested asylum in Mexico after taking refuge in the Mexican embassy in Quito on December 17, when he was being investigated for the Manabí case.

The information was confirmed at the time by his lawyer, Eduardo Franco, to the news agency. AFPthrough a phone call in which he refused to offer further details.

At the beginning of March, The Noboa government had asked Mexico for authorization to enter its embassy in Quito to arrest Glas.However, the López Obrador government, which was considering asylum, did not authorize the entry of police officials.

The leftist government of Mexico, related to Correism, finally granted political asylum to Glas this Friday. It occurred after an impasse with Ecuador, which caused them to declare persona non grata to the Mexican ambassador, Raquel Seruand they will give you 72 hours to leave the country.

The measure was in response to the controversial statements of the Mexican president, who compared the hitman of the Ecuadorian presidential candidate Fernando Villavicenciothe main detractor of Correismo, with the crime that Mexico is experiencing in the face of the presidential elections on June 2.

For López Obrador, who governs one of the most violent countries due to drug trafficking and whose policy is “hugs, not bullets” with organized crime, the murder of Villavicencio created a “rarefied atmosphere of violence” that caused the drop in the polls. of Rafael Correa's dolphin, the leftist Luisa González, and the rebound of the current Ecuadorian president, Daniel Noboa.

Ecuador is still grieving for that unfortunate event. “which caused shock in Ecuadorian society and threatened democracy, peace and security,” said the Ecuadorian government, which described the Mexican president's comments as “offensive.”

The irruption

After the asylum granted by the Mexican government, Ecuador ordered a police deployment around the Mexican diplomatic headquarters and proceeded, around 10:00 p.m. local time, to break into the scene and arrest Glas.

Roberto Cansecohead of the Mexican mission, told the media that the uniformed officers violently entered and attacked him when he tried to prevent them from taking the former president.

In the images, spread on social networks, the Mexican diplomat can be seen struggling with police officers in front of the embassy headquarters, which is still under heavy police guard.

This decision by the Ecuadorian government set off alarm bells around the world and has been denounced as a violation of the Vienna Conventionwhich in its article 22 establishes that diplomatic headquarters are inviolable and that law enforcement agents wherever they are located cannot enter them without the consent of the head of mission.

The leftist governments of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Honduras and Panamaand the dictatorships of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua They condemned this police operation. They stressed that the action violates international agreements and constitutes a precedent “serious”, “unacceptable” and “intolerable”.

Taking a more radical position, dictator Daniel Ortega announced a more forceful measure, breaking “all diplomatic relations” with Ecuador in the face of what he described as an “unusual and reprehensible action.”