The President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, announced on Tuesday April 16 the closure of all diplomatic representations of his country in Ecuador to protest against the raid by Ecuadorian police officers on the Mexican embassy in Quito to arrest the former Ecuadorian vice president, Jorge Glas.

“I gave the order to close our embassy in Ecuador, the consulate in Quito, the consulate in Guayaquil and that diplomatic personnel in Venezuela return immediately (…) until international law is expressly restored in Ecuador” , launched Mr. Maduro, from Caracas, during the virtual summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

The April 5 intrusion of Ecuadorian police into the Mexican embassy in Quito to arrest Mr. Glas – on an arrest warrant for alleged embezzlement – ​​led to the breakdown of diplomatic relations between Mexico City and Quito as well as an international outcry.

Nicolas Maduro criticized Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa for defending the raid: “President Noboa’s statements are, more than an act of provocation against Mexico, an act of provocation against international law and an absolute disregard for everything the legal framework. »

In Venezuela, six opposition leaders, accused of “destabilizing actions” against the Maduro government, are themselves refugees at the Argentine embassy in Caracas. A highly placed source from the Venezuelan foreign ministry confided on April 5 that these leaders would “benefit from safe conduct (…) on an exceptional basis for humanitarian reasons.”

An “illegal and arbitrary” intrusion

On Friday, Ecuadorian justice described the arrest of Jorge Glas in the Mexican embassy as “illegal and arbitrary”. The court relied in particular on the fact that no search warrant had been issued to authorize the police to enter the diplomatic compound.

But the National Court of Justice (CNJ), the highest court in the country, also ruled that Mr. Glas should remain incarcerated in a high-security prison in Guayaquil (South-West) in order to serve previous convictions in two other corruption cases.

Mexico reacted to the intrusion into its embassy by severing diplomatic relations with Quito and then filing a complaint against Ecuador before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), located in The Hague. Mexico is demanding that Ecuador be suspended from the United Nations “until it issues a public apology, recognizing violations of fundamental principles and norms of international law.”