Mexico is taking Ecuador to the top UN court over the storming of the Mexican Embassy

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Mexico is taking Ecuador to the top UN court on Tuesday, accusing the nation of violating international law by storming the Mexican Embassy in Quito to arrest a former vice president who had just been granted asylum by Mexico. The April 5 raid, hours after Mexico granted asylum to former Vice President Jorge Glas, spiked tensions that had been brewing between the two countries since Glas, a convicted criminal and fugitive, took refuge at the embassy in December. Leaders across Latin America condemned the raid as a blatant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

Ecuador said Glas was wanted on corruption convictions and not for political reasons and has argued that Mexico granting asylum to a convicted criminal was itself a violation of the Vienna Convention. Two mornings of preliminary hearings at the International Court of Justice are focused on Mexico’s request for interim orders known as provisional measures to be put in force while the case progresses through the court – a process likely to take many months.

Among the measures Mexico is seeking is for the World Court to order Ecuador to take “appropriate and immediate steps to provide full protection and security of diplomatic premises” and prevent any further intrusions. It also wants Ecuador to let Mexico clear its diplomatic premises and the homes of its diplomats in the country. In its case filed April 11, Mexico also asked the court to award reparation and suspend Ecuador from the United Nations.

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On Monday, Ecuador also filed a case at the International Court of Justice, accusing Mexico of using its embassy to “shield Mr. Glas from enforcement by Ecuador of its criminal law” and arguing that the actions “constituted, among other things, a blatant misuse of the premises of a diplomatic mission.” It asked the court to rule that Mexico’s actions breached a number of international conventions. No date was immediately set for hearings in the case filed by Ecuador.