María de los angeles Duarte: Diplomatic standoff between Ecuador and Argentina: Ambassadors expelled after a former minister escaped | International

Residence of the Argentine Embassy in Ecuador.Jose Jacome (EFE)

Ecuador’s government decided to expel Argentina’s ambassador this Tuesday, after a former minister accused of corruption escaped diplomatic law after he was granted asylum. The Andean nation’s president, Juan Carlos Holguin, said the decision to declare ambassador Gabriel Fux persona persona was made after several meetings to clarify how former transport minister María de los Angeles Duarte escaped from Argentina. Embassy of Quito. Given the existence of “inconsistencies in certain information”, Holguin felt that the “principle of good faith and mutual trust between states” had been violated. Alberto Fernández’s government soon announced reciprocity, expelling Ecuador’s ambassador in Buenos Aires.

Duarte is now in Venezuela and was greeted by Ambassador Oscar Laborte and Argentinean diplomatic officials in Caracas after escaping from diplomatic headquarters in Quito on Friday, March 10. The Ecuadorian police are investigating how the former official escaped, but according to a statement from the Argentine Foreign Ministry, “there is no presence in the section of the building where Duarte lived last weekend, not far from the official residence of the Argentine representative. , and because of that, they made relevant tours of different dependencies without finding their whereabouts.

Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry found out about the leak on Monday afternoon and so far Argentina’s diplomatic office has refused to provide additional information and security videos about Duarte. Additionally, the Argentine government’s versions do not help clarify how and who helped the former minister, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for bribery, escape.

Ecuador has also summoned its ambassador in Argentina, Xavier Mong, for consultation, who will arrive in the country in the next few hours. The foreign minister pointed out that there is no record of Duarte ever leaving the country or of having done so for Colombia.

Foreign Minister Holguin believes that “relationships can be rebuilt at a time when a high-level dialogue channel is established that allows for the recovery of the goodwill of the actions of the states”, and that after the departure of Ambassador Fuchs, Argentina should present a new representative to the country. Only then will they analyze the situation, he added.

Duarte Rafael was the transportation minister in Korea’s government and was part of a structure that collected private money in exchange for government contracts from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, according to the prosecutor’s office. In the same case, other ministers, former Vice President George Klaus and former President Rafael Correa were convicted. All reported political persecution.

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The principle arrived at the residence of the Argentine Embassy in Quito on August 12, 2020 to avoid serving the sentence imposed and the Argentine diplomatic corps received him as a guest on humanitarian grounds. In December 2022, Argentina granted Duarte diplomatic asylum, hoping the corrupt suspect could obtain safe conduct to leave the country. However, the Ecuadorian authorities rejected the request.

The government of Alberto Fernández, who ordered the expulsion of the Ecuadorian ambassador in Buenos Aires, makes clear his “surprise and deep regret” at the decision of the administrator of Guillermo Lasso, who accused him of “exacerbating” the disagreement in the situation and “taking it to a level of prejudice in bilateral relations.” A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asserts that the former minister left the diplomatic corps “without consulting or prior notice to any authority of the Argentine Embassy” and clarifies that “there is no international standard for the detention of Argentine diplomatic officers.” Mrs. Duarte. Instead, the letter suggests, it happened because of “the ineffectiveness of the Ecuadorian authorities.”

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