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Mexico grants political asylum to Evo Morales

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-11-12 09:57

A woman holds a sign during a demonstration in support of Bolivian President Evo Morales after he announced his resignation on Sunday, outside the Bolivian Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico, November 11, 2019. The sign reads, "Evo, mate, Mexico is your home". [Photo/Agencies]

MEXICO CITY -- The Mexican Foreign Ministry said Evo Morales, who had announced his resignation as Bolivian president earlier, accepted on Monday the political asylum offered by the Mexican government.

"The Mexican Foreign Ministry ... has decided to grant Mr Evo Morales political asylum for humanitarian reasons, and by virtue of the urgent situation he faces in Bolivia, where his life and integrity are at risk," Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said at a news conference.

The Mexican government made the decision known to the Bolivian Foreign Ministry, as well as the Organization of American States and he Mexican Senate, and will also inform the United Nations.

Mexican law recognizes the granting of political asylum and Mexico has a long tradition of protecting asylum seekers, the minister said.

"The granting of asylum is a sovereign right of the Mexican state which is in accordance with its normative principles in foreign policy of protecting human rights, respecting national self-determination, resolving conflicts peacefully, and non-intervention," Ebrard added.

Morales, whose re-election victory triggered weeks of protests amid fraud allegations, announced his resignation on Sunday after the military demanded his departure.

On Monday morning, Ebrard said the Mexican government considers the events in Bolivia to be a "coup," as Morales' resignation occurred at the suggestion of the army, although the term of Morales' government would expire in January 2020.

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