QUITO – Ecuador’s foreign minister announced Thursday that his country and Peru have decided to call their respective ambassadors home for consultations after the Ecuadorian envoy in Lima was involved in an altercation at a supermarket.
“The governments of Ecuador and Peru have decided to call our ambassadors home for consultations after the regrettable incident of April 21,” Ricardo Patiño said via Twitter.
“The governments of Ecuador and Peru will avoid letting an isolated incident affect the excellent level of relations between our countries,” he added.
Previously, the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry had issued a statement saying that “there is no reason” that would justify withdrawing Rodrigo Riofrio, whom it considers “the victim of an attack,” from Peru.
In the statement, the ministry based its decision on the review of the supermarket’s security videotape and its evaluation of the statement signed by a Peruvian police officer in which he “testifies to the attack of which the Ecuadorian ambassador was a victim.”
“He was pursued by a couple of women, one very young, and you know that the ambassador is no longer a young man, and why are we going to withdraw an ambassador for being attacked?” Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said Thursday after reviewing the store video.
Cristina Castro accused Ambassador Riofrio of having insulted her and her daughter and of kicking and hitting them.
The incident spurred Peru to ask Ecuador to consider withdrawing the envoy to Lima.
At the same time, the Peruvian Foreign Ministry reiterated its firm conviction that the incident would not affect what it called the excellent bilateral relations the two countries enjoy. EFE