IACHR Asks Ecuador to Fulfil Its International Obligations

April 15, 2024

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is concerned about events linked to the intrusion of the Mexican Embassy in Quito, Ecuador. The Commission calls for compliance with international standards regarding the inviolability of diplomatic missions and regarding diplomatic asylum in the Americas, as well as highlighting the need for dialogue between the two States. The IACHR calls on the State of Ecuador to adopt any measures necessary to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of Jorge Glas Espinel, a beneficiary of precautionary measures granted by the IACHR.

On April 5, Ecuador's National Police stormed into the Mexican Embassy in Quito to arrest former Ecuadorian vice president Jorge Glas, who had been inside Embassy facilities since December 2023. A few hours earlier, the State of Mexico had granted Glas diplomatic asylum.

Following those events, Mexico issued an official statement to condemn the violence perpetrated against the head of its diplomatic mission, Roberto Canseco Martínez; to break diplomatic ties with Ecuador; and withdrew its accredited personnel from that country.

In an official statement, Ecuador explained the details of the operation, alleging an abuse of diplomatic immunities and privileges by Mexico, and questioned he diplomatic asylum granted. Ecuador also stated that Jorge Glas could not be considered politically persecuted due to the final judgments for common crimes of corruption issued against him and the related imprisonment order.

The IACHR takes note of the Organization of American States (OAS) Permanent Council Resolution CP/RES. 1253 (2494/24), approved on April 10, which condemns the intrusion of the Ecuadorian police into the Embassy of Mexico in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The resolution emphasized the importance of respecting the inviolability of diplomatic facilities and the integrity of diplomatic representatives. It called on all states to adhere to their obligations under the 1961 Vienna Convention and the 1954 Convention on Diplomatic Asylum.

As an OAS institution, the IACHR is the guardian of International Law addressing human rights. In this context, the IACHR reinforces the need for States to observe the international obligations derived from their customary commitments and conventions, including the 1961 Vienna Convention.

Finally, the IACHR noted that it granted precautionary measures in favor of Jorge David Glas Espinel on December 31, 2019, in accordance with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure. At the time, the IACHR requested that the State of Ecuador take all necessary measures to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of Jorge David Glas Espinel. This included measures best suited to his personal circumstances and aimed at creating conditions that would protect and respect his rights. The Ecuadorian State has periodically reported on the implementation of the precautionary measures ordered by the Commission. Although the circumstances of Jorge Glas Espinel have changed, the precautionary measures remain in effect.

A principal, autonomous body of the OAS, the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence. 

No. 074/24

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