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Ecuador’s former vice president hospitalized days after arrest in Mexican embassy

<i>Gerardo Menoscal/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Army soldiers guard the surroundings of the Naval Hospital of Guayaquil
Gerardo Menoscal/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Newsource
Army soldiers guard the surroundings of the Naval Hospital of Guayaquil

By Marlon Sorto and Mitchell McCluskey, CNN

(CNN) — Ecuador’s former vice president Jorge Glas has been hospitalized, days after his arrest during a high-profile raid of the Mexican embassy in Quito.

Glas was taken a hospital in Guayaquil after falling ill, the country’s national prison agency SNAI said Monday. He became ill after he refused to eat food provided to him while in detention, the agency also said.

Paramedics with the Ministry of Public Health transferred Glas to the Naval Hospital of Guayaquil, where he was admitted at approximately 12:45 p.m.

SNAI said Glas was in a stable condition and would be under observation for the next few hours before being returned to prison.

The news came as Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa on Monday defended the controversial police raid on Friday that led to Glas’s arrest.

Glas, who has been accused by Ecuadorian authorities of embezzling government funds meant to help rebuild after a devastating 2016 earthquake, was seeking asylum at the embassy when the raid took place. He was subsequently transferred to the maximum security La Roca prison in Guayaquil.

His defense has rejected the allegations against him and he says he is the subject of political persecution. Glas, who has previously been convicted twice on corruption charges, served under leftist ex-President Rafael Correa between 2013 and 2017.

Mexico reacted to the raid with fury, condemning it as a “flagrant violation of international law” and its sovereignty and has filed a case against Ecuador at the International Court of Justice. It has also broken off diplomatic ties with Ecuador.

Noboa defends the raid

In an open letter published on X, formerly known as Twitter, President Noboa on Monday defended the raid, saying Ecuador could not run the “imminent risk of (Glas’s) escape.”

“My obligation is to comply with the rulings of justice and we could not allow sentenced criminals involved in very serious crimes to be granted asylum,” he wrote.

“I have made exceptional decisions to protect national security, the rule of law and the dignity of a people who reject any type of impunity for criminals, delinquents, corrupt people or narco-terrorists,” Noboa wrote.

Noboa added he would be willing to “resolve any difference” with Mexico on the matter.

“To the brotherly people of Mexico, I want to express that I will always be willing to resolve any difference, but that justice is not negotiated, and that we will never protect criminals who have harmed Mexicans,” he wrote.

Mexico is not the only regional country to have criticized Ecuador’s actions.

Following Glas’s arrest, a host of Latin American countries – including regional giants Brazil and Argentina – rallied around Mexico, while Nicaragua joined it in severing diplomatic ties.

Several pointed to a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the international treaty that defines a framework for relations between countries. Some also pointed to a breach of Glas’s right to asylum.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has also expressed alarm at the raid.

CNN has attempted to contact Glas’s lawyers.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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