Diplomatic tension: Ecuador expels Argentina’s ambassador and calls his own for consultations | news today

  Photograph of the entrance to the residence of the Argentine embassy in Ecuador, today, in Quito (Ecuador).

Photograph of the entrance to the residence of the Argentine embassy in Ecuador, today, in Quito (Ecuador).

Photo: EFE – José Jácome

The Government of Ecuador announced on Tuesday the expulsion of the Argentine ambassador in Quito, Gabriel Fuks, and called his ambassador in Buenos Aires, Xavier Monge, for consultations, after the escape of former minister María de los Ángeles Duarte to Venezuela.

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador, Juan Carlos Holguín, argued in a press conference a loss of confidence in Fuks, in whose residence Duarte had been a refugee for more than two and a half years to avoid going to prison for a conviction for corruption.

The departure for Caracas of Duarte, who was a minister in the Government of the leftist Rafael Correa (2007-2017), occurred after the Government of Argentine President Alberto Fernández granted her the requested asylum in December but that of Ecuador, chaired by the Conservative Guillermo Lasso, denied her safe conduct to travel to Buenos Aires without being arrested.

Holguín explained that the Ecuadorian government has granted a “prudent” period of time for the Argentine ambassador to leave the country, since it considers that “the good faith and mutual trust that is sought in the relationship between states has been violated.”

“Our idea is not to break relations with Argentina, but this measure was necessary so that we can regain confidence. Ecuador considers that he is not an ideal person,” Holguín said of Fuks.

“We believe that it is the best for Ecuador because of its dignity and absolute respect for Justice,” added the Ecuadorian foreign minister, who hoped that a new ambassador from Argentina could arrive in Quito with a high-level dialogue.


The head of the Foreign Relations portfolio commented that this Tuesday Fuks gave him information that was different and supposedly contradictory to that provided on Monday night, when the Argentine Foreign Minister, Santiago Cafiero, informed him that Duarte had left the ambassador’s residence, apparently without prior notice.

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However, this Tuesday morning they told him that Duarte was at the Argentine Embassy in Caracas, after having left his residence in Quito between Friday or Saturday.

Holguín also pointed out that so far the Argentine diplomatic mission has not delivered documents and material requested by the Ecuadorian government, such as the recordings of the security cameras that would clarify the circumstances of Duarte’s departure from the residence of the Argentine diplomatic mission.

The foreign minister considered that Duarte’s arrival in Caracas is “bad news for the fight against corruption and impunity” and reiterated that the former minister is not politically persecuted, since her conviction for corruption was given in 2020, before she arrived. the current government to power.


Likewise, it explained that Duarte’s asylum request to Argentina was not based on the eight-year prison sentence for bribery, but rather because of his ties to the father of his son, an Argentine national and who “supposedly was in Argentina.”

In this sense, he assured that some of the arguments used in the request have not been true, and this has been transferred by the Government of Ecuador to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), to which the Argentine Executive appealed after the Ecuadorian refusal to grant the safe conduct to Duarte.

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Duarte was sentenced in 2020 together with Correa to 8 years in prison for bribery as part of the “Bribes 2012-2016” case, an irregular financing plot of the then-government Alianza País movement, led by the former president, with improper contributions from companies that did not they were declared.

The former official, who held the Public Works portfolio between February 19, 2015 and January 6, 2017, considers herself to be politically persecuted and denies the charges against her, for which she took refuge in the Argentine Embassy in Quito. together with his underage son since August 20, 2020, where he was until a few days ago.

In a message on Twitter, Duarte thanked Argentina for having “sheltered him from the persecution of the governments of Lenín Moreno and Guillermo Lasso.”

“I decided to leave the embassy because, by denying me the safe conduct that corresponded to me as a political refugee, according to the Caracas convention of 1954 and preventing my safe exit, the Ecuadorian government made me its political hostage,” the former minister wrote.

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