Just as you thought the WikiLeaks furor was over: Ecuador has "declared the U.S. ambassador to the country 'persona non grata,'" reports Reuters, and wants the envoy to leave immediately. The reason? "Cables released by Wikileaks about alleged police corruption."
Heather Hodges, shown above meeting with Ecuadoran president Rafael Correa shortly after her appointment in 2008, won't be the first American diplomat to lose a position due to WikiLeaks, but she'll be the first to get kicked out in quite so dramatic a fashion. The U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Carlos Pascual, resigned in March because of the backlash to publicized cables wherein he criticized Mexican handling of the drug war.
Back in November, Ecuador offered WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange residency. ""We are going to try and invite him to Ecuador to freely present, not only via the internet, but also through different public forums, the information and documentation that he has," said Deputy Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas, reported by the BBC, at the time.
Update: The BBC is now reporting that Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino has shed some light on the reason for the move. Ecuador's government was apparently disconcerted at the U.S. appearing, from the leaked cables, to have access to "restricted information."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.