What Ecuador’s Lawless Assault on Mexico Means

Photograph Source: Asamblea Nacional del Ecuador – CC BY-SA 3.0

The U.S. puppet in Ecuador, President Daniel Noboa, is on quite a roll. First Mexico severs diplomatic relations with Ecuador, after cops storm the Mexican embassy on April 5 to arrest former vice president Jorge Glas, taking refuge there, and in the process beat up embassy staff. Next, Nicaragua ruptures ties. One can only wonder what nation will cold-shoulder the rogue regime in Ecuador next. Certainly not Washington, which set the precedent for this atrocious behavior some years back, as the eminence grise behind British police rousting Julian Assange from his sanctuary in the Ecuadoran embassy in London. The Empire is vengeful and never forgives or forgets: Former Ecuadoran president, leftist Rafael Correa, had opened the embassy to Assange, so clearly now he and his entire former staff are fair game for imperial goons. Since the Empire – or rather its gangster marionette, Noboa – has nabbed Correa’s former vice president, it’s a good bet Glas’ days could be numbered.

Indeed, on the evening of April 8 came news on X that, post-capture, Glas attempted suicide in the prison of Guayaquil by medication overdose and was moved to a military hospital. While some reports have him on a hunger strike, others say he’s now in an induced coma. My, how convenient for those who want to get rid of this nettlesome politician! What a happy coincidence for them that just as they were forced violently to kidnap him from the Mexican embassy, he decided to take his life! Strange how things work out so well for imperial vassals! Who could have imagined such a felicitous development for Washington’s little attack dog in Quito? Oh, and I have a bridge to sell you.

“I am very worried they may kill Glas,” said Mexican diplomat Roberto Canseco April 6. Turns out his worries were on target. Canseco “was visibly shaken after being assaulted by Ecuador’s police,” Kawsachun News reported, “as they invaded the embassy of Mexico in Quito in order to abduct” Glas. Canseco saw Ecuadoran official hoodlums’ brutality up close and knows they’re not kidding around. And then, to underline the fundamental lawlessness of the Noboa regime, on the evening of April 12, Ecuador’s courts ruled Glas’ detention illegal and that it violated laws on searching embassies. Did the Noboa gang comply with the court’s ruling? Not one bit. Glas is still in detention.

So this was no peaceful violation of the sanctity of an embassy as laid out in the Vienna Convention. “The Mexican ambassador was violently beaten and staff were forced out,” according to journalist Denis Rogatyuk on X April 6. “In legal terms, this is an invasion of Mexico by the Ecuadoran armed forces.” Mexican president Manuel Andres Lopez Obrador promptly broke “diplomatic relations with Noboa’s regime. Not even Augusto Pinochet in Chile dared to invade other countries’ embassies.”

 But in fact, there have been several embassy attacks in Latin America over the years: Peru’s 1987 assault on the Japanese embassy; the 1980 Guatemalan firebombing of the Spanish embassy; the 1976 Uruguayan invasion of the Venezuelan embassy. All these embassies sheltered people the local governments hunted – and indeed captured and killed. So there is a gory, criminal precedent, but that doesn’t make it any less of an outrage.

This storming of the Mexican embassy in Ecuador came after a months-long standoff. Glas “had been convicted twice on corruption charges and has been staying at the embassy since late last year,” RT reported April 6. “Glas insists that he has been subjected to political persecution.” Well, if he wasn’t before, he sure is now. Washington’s Latin American lackeys don’t employ lawfare lightly – at the very least it leads to prison, as happened to Brazilian president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva. It won’t do to contemplate the worst to which a thug like Noboa (the 36-year-old banana empire heir and son of Ecuador’s richest man) might resort. That this nonsense erodes faith in the courts goes without saying and is, in fact, the least of its evils. But lawfare appears to be Washington’s weapon of choice against foreign politicos it doesn’t like. Think how it was wielded against Correa himself, now living in Brussels asylum since 2018, Lula and Pakistan’s Imran Khan, for starters.

The bad blood between the CIA and all things Correa goes way back: to 2012, when then president Correa granted Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange sanctuary in the Ecuadoran embassy in London. It took Washington seven years to pry Assange out of that niche and get its hands on him and for that you can bet your paycheck the American deep state blames Correa. So Washington doubtless considers him fair game – and a threat. After all, left-wing Correa is wildly popular in Ecuador and as a result stayed in power for over 10 years. This canny leftist knows very well the Empire is after him and has wisely remained out of compromised Ecuadoran clutches in Belgium, ever since Washington turned his successor Lenin Moreno.

Moreno ran for president as a Correa acolyte, but upon seizing the crown, promptly stabbed Correa in the back, ditching his mentor for Washington’s very shady embrace. Charges of illegal campaign financing were brought against Correa in May 2019, and it became clear that if he ever returned to Quito, he risked prison – at best. But surprise! The Ecuadoran people didn’t like Moreno and now he’s gone, replaced by a Washington neoliberal figurehead, Guillermo Lasso and then Noboa – only in office six months, as he replaced Lasso when threatened with impeachment – who is clearly the worst. The Noboa regime went after Glas and it’s likely will pursue others from the Correa administration. Now would be a good time for all Correa loyalists to emigrate.

 Ecuadoran officials attempted to justify invading the Mexican embassy by claiming Glas could escape their ferocious grasp. Though Glas had been there a while, on April 5 “Mexico granted Glas asylum based on his insistence that he had been subjected to political persecution,” RT reported April 7. That very evening cops stormed the embassy, which seemed to be imperial vassals’ new method of choice to persecute fleeing dissenters. But Mexico isn’t the only country to object to violence against its diplomats – “Numerous Latin American nations, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela and other denounced Ecuador’s actions.” So did Colombia, Cuba, Honduras, Panama and Uruguay. Who’s to say some of them won’t follow Mexico and Nicaragua’s lead and cut off ties to Noboa’s rogue regime?

Mexico was furious. “This is a flagrant violation of international law and the sovereignty of Mexico,” thundered President Obrador. As one Mexican official put it, given this florid flouting “of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the injuries suffered by Mexican diplomatic personnel in Ecuador, Mexico announces the immediate breaking of diplomatic relations with Ecuador.” According to Common Dreams April 6, Mexico reported that “embassy staff members were injured during the raid. They also said that all Mexican diplomatic staff will immediately leave Ecuador and that Mexico would appeal to the International Court of Justice to hold Ecuador accountable.” My prediction is Noboa couldn’t care less; just a wild guess about somebody brazen enough to bust up all the niceties of international law.

Meanwhile, Washington tried to smooth things over for its aggressive puppet, with former State Department official Eric Farnsworth telling CNN April 7 that Ecuador’s raid was “impulsive and unnecessary…[it] turns a criminal into a victim and gives opponents a rally point against” Noboa. But Will Freeman from the Council of Foreign Relations worries that this shameless assault “raises concerns over the steps Noboa is willing to take to get reelected. His tenure ends in 2025, as he was only elected to finish the term of former president Guillermo Lasso,” according to Spectrum News April 6.

Remember that election that Noboa won was highly irregular, with drug cartel violence, one candidate assassinated, and eyebrows raised at how the other candidates, including Noboa, conducted their campaigns. With hindsight, we shouldn’t be surprised. If Noboa is this eager to trash international law, diplomatic immunity and embassy protections, no one should be shocked if he shows similar scorn for the laws of the country that has the misfortune to be ruled by him. Yes, there’s reason to fret. Noboa could be on a path to steal Ecuador’s next election – violently.

Eve Ottenberg is a novelist and journalist. Her latest book is Busybody. She can be reached at her website.