Former Bolivian President Evo Morales arrived in Mexico after being granted asylum there. Stepping off the plane Morales credited the Mexican president with saving his life.
Evo Morales landed on Tuesday morning in Mexico city, following the Mexican Foreign Ministry granting an asylum request from the former Bolivian president on humanitarian grounds.
The former president stepped off the plane smiling and waving, wearing a light blue short-sleeved shirt before shaking Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard’s hand.
“As long as I’m alive, we’ll continue doing politics. As long as I’m alive, the fight will continue,” Morales said.
Morales also credited the Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador saying “he saved my life.”
He went on to say that the only crimes he was guilty of was being indigenous and “anti-imperialist.” His critics, including election observers from the Organization of American States (OAS), alleged that his election victory was rigged.
Flight via Paraguay
Ebrard documented the former president’s journey in a series of tweets, announcing his arrival on Mexican soil as well as a photograph of Morales during his flight on a Mexican air force jet.
“It pains me to leave the country for political reasons, but I will always be watching,” Morales, who has led Bolivia for the past 14 years, tweeted. “I will be back soon with more strength and energy.”
The plane flew south for a stop in Paraguay after departing on Monday evening, before flying north to Mexico on Tuesday.
Morales — Bolivia’s first indigenous president — quit his post on Sunday after an election on October 20 in which he sought an unprecedented fourth term. A disputed win for the 59-year-old sparked civil unrest, and he came under pressure from the military to quit the post.
Ebrard said Morales’ “life and physical integrity” were at risk in Bolivia.
The world has reacted with a variety of perspectives on the developments of the last 24 hours, with the Organization of American States calling an emergency meeting Tuesday afternoon to discuss the situation.
Mexico, Uruguay, Cuba, Venezuela and Argentine President-elect Alberto Fernandez have said Morales was deposed illegally.
However, the US State Department has said the situation in Bolivia was not a coup. US President Donald Trump said that the events in Bolivia sent a strong signal to other Latin American countries, such as Venezuela and Nicaragua, and that “democracy and the will of the people will always prevail.”
km, rc/msh (Reuters, dpa, AP, EFE)