March 9, 2014
Ecuador demands US envoy leave over Wikileaks
Ecuador said it had declared the US ambassador to the country "persona non grata," demanding the envoy leave over US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks reporting alleged police corruption.
Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño told reporters he had not received a satisfactory explanation from US ambassador Heather Hodges about cables previously released by Wikileaks and signed by her office.
"Ecuador's government has decided to consider this woman as a persona non grata... we have asked her to leave the country in the shortest time possible," he said.
Patiño said the decision did not mean Ecuador was breaking off relations with the United States.
Wikileaks has caused an international uproar by handing sensitive US diplomatic documents to the media.
The US ambassador to Mexico resigned last month after a public spat with President Felipe Calderón. Tensions were fuelled by Wikileaks reports of comments made by the envoy about the Mexico's lack of coordination battling drug cartels.
Ecuador late last year had initially offered Wikileaks founder Julian Assange the possibility of working and seeking residency in the Andean country. But President Rafael Correa later withdrew the offer saying Assange had broken US laws.