May 2, 2013 / 5:41 PM / 5 years ago

Peru and Ecuador temporarily recall ambassadors after supermarket brawl

LIMA (Reuters) - Ecuador and Peru on Thursday temporarily recalled their ambassadors after relations between the neighbors soured following a supermarket brawl in Lima involving Ecuador’s envoy to Peru and female shoppers.

Rodrigo Riofrio, Ecuador’s ambassador to Peru, allegedly hit two Peruvian women and insulted them with racist slurs after an argument in a checkout line on April 21.

Ecuador has argued that Riofrio acted in self-defense and rejected Peru’s request to remove him from his post.

In the supermarket’s security videotape, shown on Peruvian television, he is seen swatting a woman with a magazine after she hit him. Several women are then seen slapping him and pulling his hair.

Ecuador’s foreign ministry emphasized in a statement that the two countries would resolve the incident, which has sparked outrage in Peruvian media and social media sites.

“One isolated incident will not affect the excellent relationship between our countries,” said Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino.

(This story has been corrected to show ambassadors have been temporarily recalled)

Reporting by Patricia Velez; Editing by Vicki Allen

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