Ecuador's ex-VP Jorge Glas attempts suicide, initiates hunger strike in prison

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Ecuador’s former Vice President Jorge Glas attempted suicide earlier this week and is now on a hunger strike at a prison in Guayaquil to protest his arrest, his lawyer Sonia Vera and former President Rafael Correa said on Wednesday.

Glas, already twice convicted of corruption and now facing fresh charges, was arrested on Friday after a raid by police on Mexico’s Quito embassy, where he had been living since December.

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Glas was taken to hospital on Monday after the prison service said he refused to eat food provided in jail and became ill.

“We have confirmed that the medical emergency was a suicide attempt. He has not eaten anything and is on a hunger strike,” Correa said in a message on X, which was confirmed by Vera in a whatsapp message.

In a separate message on X, Vera included a video of Glas recounting his arrest last week.

The arrest capped a week of growing tensions between Mexico and Ecuador, after Quito declared the Mexican ambassador persona non grata, citing “unfortunate” comments by leftist Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Ecuador’s government has said that it has evidence that Glas was planning to escape, though it has not provided details.

He was discharged from hospital on Tuesday and returned to prison.

Video clips from inside the embassy broadcast during Lopez Obrador’s daily press conference on Tuesday showed a door violently forced open as well as a man, who appeared to be Glas, being carried out, his arms and legs hoisted up by police or soldiers.

In the video shared by his lawyer, Glas accused police of abusing him during the arrest in Quito.

“I tried to stand up but I couldn’t because of the beating they had given me,” Glas said in the video.

There was no immediate response from Ecuador’s police to questions sent by Reuters.

Earlier this week, Glas’ lawyers said they had filed a petition to free the former vice president. The hearing will be on Thursday afternoon in Quito, Vera said.

Read more:

Mexico suspends relations with Ecuador after arrest of ex-VP

Nicaragua cuts diplomatic ties with Ecuador after raid on Mexican embassy

Ecuador’s security crisis: Violence, drugs, government response

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