A sign announces Mexico's embassy where Bolivian police stand guard in La Paz, Bolivia. Bolivia's interim President Jeanine Áñez said Ambassador María Teresa Mercado had been given 72 hours to leave the country. File photo: AP Photo/Luis Gandarillas.
A sign announces Mexico's embassy where Bolivian police stand guard in La Paz, Bolivia. Bolivia's interim President Jeanine Áñez said Ambassador María Teresa Mercado had been given 72 hours to leave the country. File photo: AP Photo/Luis Gandarillas.

Bolivia says it's expelling Mexican ambassador

Time of article published Dec 30, 2019

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LA PAZ — Bolivia's interim president says her government is expelling the Mexican ambassador over an alleged attempt by members of Bolivia's former government to leave refuge in the Mexican embassy and flee the country.

Interim President Jeanine Áñez said Ambassador María Teresa Mercado had been given 72 hours to leave the country.

A group of nine former officials in the government of deposed Bolivian President Evo Morales sought refuge in the Mexican embassy after Morales' stepped down under pressure last month.

The acting Bolivian government has initiated criminal charges against the officials for sedition, terrorism and electoral fraud and has refused to allow them safe passage out of the country.

The Bolivian government has accused Spanish diplomats of trying to help the nine officials leave the Mexican embassy on Friday and says the Spaniards arrived at the embassy accompanied by a group of hooded men. Spain has denied the charges but the six Spanish diplomats departed Bolivia on Sunday after the Bolivian government asked them to leave.

“A serious violation has been committed against Bolivian sovereignty and democracy, which must be respected,” Áñez said.

The Mexican government said Mercado had always followed the principles of Mexican foreign policy and international law.

“We consider this to be a political decision," the government said in a written statement.

AP

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