World, Americas

Bolivia moves to expel Mexican, Spanish envoys

Decision comes with diplomats accused of trying to aid members of Bolivia’s former Morales administration

Beyza Binnur Donmez   | 30.12.2019
Bolivia moves to expel Mexican, Spanish envoys

ANKARA

Amid accusations of aiding members of Bolivia’s former Morales administration, Bolivia on Monday made moves to expel Mexico’s ambassador and two Spanish diplomats.

"Applying the Vienna Convention in the face of events that happened in past days at the Mexican Embassy, we declare persona non grata the Ambassador of Mexico, Chargé d'affaires of Spain, and the Consul General of the same," Jeanine Anez, Bolivia's interim president, said on Twitter.

The decision came days after the Spanish diplomats visited Mexico's Ambassador to Bolivia Teresa Mercado at her residence in Bolivia's capital La Paz, in a meeting Anez’s government has said was meant to help former high-ranking members of the Morales administration exit the country, allegations denied by Spain.

***Hours after the announcement, Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico's foreign minister, tweeted in praise of Mercado's “valuable performance" in Bolivia, mentioning her work “in favor of asylum and peace.”

***"Her fortitude and attachment to the best foreign policy tradition of our country will always be a stamp of pride," he added.

***Thanking Ebrard, the ambassador said on Twitter that she is "proud to serve Mexico and its principles and tradition of asylum."

Turmoil in Bolivia began in October when Morales won a fourth term in office and faced immediate resistance from opposition parties that challenged election results.

Protesters took to the streets, claiming the ballot was rigged.

After weeks of upheaval, Morales resigned under pressure from the military and moved to Mexico, where he was offered political asylum.

Conservative Senator Anez then proclaimed herself interim president at a time when Morales still claims to be the legal president of the Andean country. 

But public demonstrations have yet to subside, with pro-Morales supporters taking to the streets since he left the country, calling his ouster a coup.

Anez has called for an election rerun next year in which Morales will not be allowed to stand, as he has already hit the constitutional limit of two terms of office.

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