Bolivia harasses and intimidates Mexican diplomats

The new Bolivian government has deployed dozens of police officers to survey the Mexican embassy

Bolivia harasses and intimidates Mexican diplomats
On December 23, the Mexican government accused Bolivia of intimidating Mexican diplomats - Photo: Shared by diplomat Efraín Guadarrama through his Twitter account (@efrain_gp)
English 24/12/2019 12:55 Newsroom & Agencies Mexico City Reuters Actualizada 09:10
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This morning, President López Obrador said the tension between Mexico and Bolivia has eased after Mexican authorities accused the Bolivian government of intimidating the Mexican diplomats. Nevertheless, Mexican diplomat Efraín Guadarrama shared a series of photographs at 10:55 AM, where police officers can be seen monitoring the Mexican embassy.

Guadarrama also said that “in the last few hours, police harassment has increased in our embassy in La Paz. We will keep reporting the harassment against our diplomatic headquarters and showing the violations of international rights in Bolivia.”

Mexico granted asylum to Bolivian ex-president Evo Morales

On December 23, the Mexican government accused Bolivia of intimidating Mexican diplomats while Bolivia said Mexico had hijacked a regional summit and took a long time to recognize its new government, which was not elected by popular vote.

Yesterday, Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said that it was “deeply concerned” about “excessive” surveillance of the Mexican ambassador’s residence and Mexican embassy in Bolivia by around 150 Bolivian intelligence and security service personnel.

In a letter to the Organization of American States (OAS), Mexico said the new Bolivian government was “intimidating” diplomatic staff and attempted to “detain and inspect” the ambassador’s vehicle on December 23.

Who overthrew Bolivia's President Evo Morales' government?

On Monday, Bolivia’s Foreign Ministry said it was considering pulling out of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) because Mexico, the 2020 president of the organization, made plans this year during Bolivia’s presidency for a meeting on January 8.

According to the Bolivian official, Mexico is guilty of “unfriendly conduct” and had shown itself to be “reluctant” to recognize the Añez presidency.

Karen Longaric, Bolivia’s Foreign Minister, said she would not attend the January 8 meeting in Mexico. “We will see if in the future we will remain part of CELAC or not,” she told journalists at a news conference in La Paz.

Right-wing politicians took over Bolivia since former President Evo Morales resigned in November, after allegations of a fraud in the presidential election. Bolivia is currently governed by interim President Jeanine Añez, a former conservative senator.

After Evo Morales resigned, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador granted asylum to Morales, who recently relocated to Argentina, as President Alberto Fernández has indicated he will also give him political asylum.

Yesterday, Evo Morales said that he repudiated the actions implemented by the “military dictatorship” in Bolivia by besieging the Mexican residency with police officers and use drones to violate Mexico’s air space. According to Morales, these actions aim to “intimidate and risk the lives of the refugees” living at the Mexican embassy.

On December 24, President López Obrador said that excessive monitoring of Mexico’s diplomatic facilities in Bolivia had eased since his government issued a complaint about it a day earlier.

“I have news that this situation of extreme surveillance on our embassy in Bolivia has eased considerably,” he said.

Evo Morales steps down as President of Bolivia

UPDATE

In the last 24 hours, Maximiliano Reyes Zúñiga, the Foreign Ministry’s Undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean, has been sharing a series of photographs that confirm the presence of Bolivian police and military officers outside the Mexican embassy.

Furthermore, the Mexican diplomat said that Mexico is expecting Bolivia to break international law and treaties and force its way into the Mexican embassy through an armed incursion.

As of December 25, Mexican diplomats were still reporting intimidation and hostility from Bolivian authorities and denounced that police officers were taking pictures of those who are inside the Mexican embassy.

International organizations such as the OAS and the UN have yet to comment on the matter.

gm
 

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