After resigning from the post of Bolivian President, Evo Morales left for Mexico on Monday, which has granted him political asylum, as the armed forces agreed to help police curb violence that has erupted after the president’s stunning resignation left a power vacuum.
The senator set to succeed Morales as interim president, Jeanine Anez, pledged to call fresh elections to end the political crisis.
Earlier on Monday, Morales called Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard to request asylum and later he tweeted that he was “heading to Mexico.”
Hermanas y hermanos, parto rumbo a México, agradecido por el desprendimiento del gobierno de ese pueblo hermano que nos brindó asilo para cuidar nuestra vida. Me duele abandonar el país por razones políticas, pero siempre estaré pendiente. Pronto volveré con más fuerza y energía.
— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) November 12, 2019
Taking to Twitter, Ebard tweeted, “A Mexican military plane carrying the former president had “already taken off … with Morales aboard”.
Evo Morales ya está en el avión del Gobierno de México enviado para asegurar su traslado seguro a nuestro país.
— Marcelo Ebrard C. (@m_ebrard) November 12, 2019
“According to international conventions, he’s under Mexico’s protection. His life and integrity have been saved,” Ebrard said.
Morales thanked Mexico for protecting him and vowed to come back to his country “stronger and more energetically.”
The dramatic events came a day after Morales’s shock resignation after he lost the backing of the military following three weeks of street protests over his disputed re-election for an unconstitutional fourth term.
Morales was declared the winner of the October 20 presidential election with a narrow margin, giving him a controversial fourth term, having first taken power in 2006.
But the opposition said there was a fraud in the vote count and three weeks of street protests ensued, during which three people died and hundreds were injured.
Earlier on Sunday, violence had continued as a caravan of buses taking opposition supporters to La Paz was attacked, leaving three people injured, including one by gunfire. Morales lashed out against the OAS mission, accusing it of making a “political decision” instead of a technical one. “Some OAS technicians are at the service of … power groups.”
Morales insisted his government was leaving behind “many social triumphs.” The World Bank has credited his government for a decrease in the poverty rate from 45 per cent of the population in 2010 to 35 per cent in 2018. On social media, Bolivians speculated that Morales might leave the country, perhaps going to Argentina, which just elected a centre-left government.