Ecuador embassy raid crossed line, top UN court told

Mexico and Ecuador cross swords at the United Nation's highest court Tuesday over an embassy raid to seize a former top Ecuadoran politician, with Mexican officials imploring judges to suspend Quito's U.N. membership.

Ecuadoran security forces stormed the Mexican embassy in early April to arrest former vice president Jorge Glas, who is wanted on corruption charges and had been granted asylum by Mexico.

The rare incursion on diplomatic territory sparked an international outcry, and led Mexico to break ties with Ecuador, pulling its diplomats out of the country.

Black-robed lawyers and representatives from both countries will on Tuesday and Wednesday state their cases before the austere judges at the International Court of Justice, based at the opulent Peace Palace in The Hague.

"Mexico respectfully requests the Court to... suspend Ecuador as a member of the United Nations" until it issues a public apology "recognising its violations to the fundamental principles and norms of international law", its application said.

It also wants judges to declare that the Hague-based ICJ was the "appropriate judicial body" to determine a state's "responsibility... in order to initiate a process of expulsion" from the U.N..

Mexico based its application on the principles of the U.N. Charter as well as the 1948 Pact of Bogota — which obliges its signatories to solve disputes through peaceful means — and the 1961 Vienna Convention which guarantees protection for diplomatic staff.

While the ICJ — set up after World War II to rule in disputes between countries — may take several months or even years to hand down a final ruling, Mexico has also asked for a set of emergency rulings called "provisional measures".

This included ...

Continue reading on: