Bolivia’s former president Evo Morales landed in Mexico yesterday (TUES) to claim asylum, having spent a night on the floor two days after resigning from office.
Mr Morales , who was ousted amid massive protests against electoral fraud on Sunday, thanked Mexico for having “saved my life” but vowed to return to his homeland.
"Let the whole world know that I won’t change ideology because of his coup," he said.
"It pains me to leave the country for political reasons, but I’ll always be concerned. l’ll return soon, with more strength and energy."
His journey was complicated by several Latin American nations closing their airspace to his jet.
Mr Ebrard said Bolivian authorities at first granted permission for Mr Morales to leave, and the plane set off from Peru to collect him on Monday. Then Bolivian officials revoked permission and the jet started back to Peru.
Finally Bolivia relented, and allowed the plane in. But by then Peru wouldn’t allow it to return, and so the plane was forced to go to Paraguay. It refuelled, and then set off for Mexico.
Mr Morales, the first indigenous president of Bolivia and the country’s longest-serving leader, stepped down on Sunday following weeks of widespread protests fed by allegations of electoral fraud in the October 20 presidential election, which he claimed to have won.
Prior to the election the 60-year-old former llama shepherd had changed the constitution to allow him to run for an unprecedented fourth term.
In 2016, voters rejected his proposal to let him seek another five-year term in the October election. He later won a court ruling, allowing him to run on the grounds that barring him would violate human rights.
The October 20 election was marred by allegations of fraud, and sparked weeks of protest. Eventually the military told Mr Morales that his presidency was no longer tenable.
The decision was welcomed by the US, with the White House issuing a statement saying that his resignation should serve as a prelude to ending the rule of fellow Leftist regimes in Nicaragua and Venezuela.
"After nearly 14 years and his recent attempt to override the Bolivian constitution and the will of the people, Morales’s departure preserves democracy and paves the way for the Bolivian people to have their voices heard," the White House said.
But Mr Morales’s resignation was described as a “coup” by the leaders of Venezuela and Nicaragua, with Jeremy Corbyn echoing their concerns.
“To see @evoespueblo who, along with a powerful movement, has brought so much social progress forced from office by the military is appalling,” the Labour leader tweeted.
“I condemn this coup against the Bolivian people and stand with them for democracy, social justice and independence.”
Argentina’s president-elect, Alberto Fernandez, said the US had “returned to the bad times of the 70s, guaranteeing military interventions against popular, democratically elected governments."
Bernie Sanders added: “I am very concerned about what appears to be a coup in Bolivia, where the military, after weeks of political unrest, intervened to remove President Evo Morales.”
Protests by supporters and opponents of Mr Morales have paralysed the country, but on Tuesday shop owners were gingerly opening their shutters and trying to return to normality.
However, there was a void at the very top of the government – resignations by every other constitutionally designated successor to Mr Morales left it unclear who would take his place, and how.
The Senate’s second vice president, opposition politician Jeanine Anez, called a legislative session on Tuesday to formally accept Mr Morales’ resignation and choose an interim replacement.
Under the plan, she would take temporary control of the Senate, making her next in line for the presidency.
"The country is experiencing dramatic moments and all parliamentarians have the obligation to give certainty to the country," she said.
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