MEXICO CITY: Mexico's diplomatic personnel were leaving Ecuador on Sunday, its foreign minister said, as the two countries severed ties after Quito's security forces stormed the Mexican embassy in a raid that prompted searing international rebukes.

"Our diplomatic staff are leaving everything in Ecuador and returning home with their heads held high... after the assault on our embassy," said Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena on social network X, formerly Twitter.

She spoke after Spain and the European Union joined the United Nations chief and Latin American countries in condemning Quito for the raid -- which it carried out in a bid to arrest former Ecuadoran vice president Jorge Glas, who was sheltering at the embassy.

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Glas sought refuge there last December after an arrest warrant was issued against him for alleged corruption, in a move that Ecuadoran President Daniel Noboa's government branded an "illicit act."

Ecuadoran special forces equipped with a battering ram on Friday surrounded the embassy, and at least one agent scaled the walls, in an almost unheard-of raid on diplomatic premises that are considered inviolable sovereign territory.

On Saturday, Mexico's foreign ministry had said that diplomatic personnel and their families would leave Ecuador the next day, adding that personnel from "friendly and allied countries" would accompany them to the airport.

The group, which according to authorities is made up of 18 people, is traveling on a commercial airline to Mexico City after a military plane was ruled out due to the soaring tensions.

The officials and their families went to the Quito airport accompanied by the ambassadors of Germany, Panama, Cuba and Honduras, as well as the president of the Ecuador-Mexico Chamber, the Mexican Foreign Ministry said in a separate statement.

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has called the raid a "flagrant violation" of Mexico's sovereignty, and said that he will file a complaint against Ecuador at the International Court of Justice.

Mexico has also denounced "physical violence" against head of mission Roberto Canseco, who was pushed to the ground by officers while trying to prevent the invasion.

"How is it possible, it can't be. This is crazy!" a shaken Canseco told local television after the raid.

Condemnation has poured in from regional governments across the political spectrum, including Nicaragua, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Peru and Venezuela.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was "alarmed" by the raid, while Spain and the European Union both issued stinging statements condemning it as a violation of the Vienna Convention.

The 1961 convention, a treaty governing international relations, states that a country cannot intrude upon an embassy on its territory.

"Protecting the integrity of diplomatic missions and their personnel is essential to preserve stability and international order, promoting cooperation and trust between nations," the EU statement said.

On Saturday, the embassy remained surrounded by police and the Mexican flag had been taken down


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