Ecuador ex-VP Jorge Glas hospitalised after capture from Mexico embassy

Ecuador has said it wishes to resolve differences with Mexico, but has defended its raid on embassy.

Jorge Glas, the former vice president of Ecuador whose forceful extraction from Mexico’s embassy in Quito triggered a diplomatic row, has been hospitalised after not eating food in prison for 24 hours.

Glas, who was taken by armed Ecuadorian special forces on Friday night, was transferred to the Guayaquil naval hospital after falling ill but is in a stable condition, said the SNAI prison authorities in a statement early on Tuesday.

It added that the former official, who had been granted political asylum by Mexico and had been living in the embassy since December after being twice convicted of corruption by Ecuadorian courts, will remain under medical observation before shortly being returned to prison.

Mexico suspended diplomatic relations with Ecuador after the rare embassy raid, which it said constituted an “authoritarian act” and a “flagrant violation of international law and sovereignty of Mexico”.

The North American country also withdrew its personnel from the embassy, with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador saying he would file a complaint against Ecuador at the International Court of Justice.

The raid on the embassy led to condemnation and concern from across Latin America and elsewhere, with many calling it a violation of the Vienna Convention governing international relations that sets protections for embassies.

Ecuador has defended its attack on the embassy, arguing Mexico had no right to grant asylum to Glas and planned to take him out of Ecuador even as he was facing charges.

News of the former vice president’s hospitalisation comes after one of his lawyers, Sonia Vera, published an open letter on Sunday to express “deep worry and alarm” over Glas being unable to contact his legal team.

Vera said this constituted “a severe infraction to the fundamental rights of Jorge Glas” and called for unlimited in-person legal contact with him.

The former official was thrown to the floor and hit in several places during the raid, Vera said at a news conference on Monday.

Glas, who was vice president from 2013 to 2017 and was released from prison in 2022 after serving more than four years, has long alleged that Ecuador’s charges against him are politically motivated.

In a letter addressed to Ecuadorians published late Monday by his office, President Daniel Noboa signalled he wishes to resolve the issue with Mexico, “but that justice is not negotiated”.

“We will never protect criminals who have harmed Mexicans,” he said.

Mexico has said it has no plans to expel the Ecuadorian diplomatic mission in its capital.

Meanwhile, the Organization of American States (OAS) is set to hold a special meeting in its Washington, DC, headquarters on Wednesday, called by Colombia and Bolivia, to discuss the violation of the Vienna Convention during the embassy attack.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies