Thursday, May 2, 2013

 

Ecuador, Peru recall ambassadors over supermarket brawl


QUITO,-- Ecuador and Peru temporarily recalled their ambassadors Thursday after Rodrigo Riofrio, Ecuador's ambassador to Peru, allegedly hit two Peruvian women at a supermarket in Lima last month.

Security footage at the supermarket showed that Riofrio was beating Cristina Castro, 50, with a rolled-up magazine on April 21 when Castro and her daughter Cynthia Nunez tried to jump a checkout line.

The Peruvian women claimed that Riofrio insulted them with racist terms during the argument, but the ambassador said the mother and daughter slapped him first.

Ecuador's embassy in Peru issued an apology the next day but said it did not accept the women's version of the brawl.

The incident triggered outrage in the Peruvian media and social media sites.

Peru temporarily recalled its ambassador to Ecuador, Javier Leon Olavarria, for consultation. Ecuador did the same, asking Riofrio to return home to "clarify the unfortunate incident."

A Peruvian feminist group called for a protest march in Lima against Ambassador Riofrio on Saturday.

Castro, who will participate in the march, said she was considering filing a complaint against Riofrio despite his diplomatic immunity.

Francis Allison, head of the Magdalena del Mar district west of Lima, who called the Ecuadorian ambassador "persona non grata," will also join the protest.

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