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  • Maria Teresa Mercado (L), former Mexican ambassador to Bolivia, talks to an officer after arriving in Mexico City, Mexico, Dec. 31, 2019.

    Maria Teresa Mercado (L), former Mexican ambassador to Bolivia, talks to an officer after arriving in Mexico City, Mexico, Dec. 31, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 2 January 2020
Opinion

Bolivia's coup-born regime declared the ambassador and two Spanish diplomats "unwelcome persons."

Mexico's Ambassador to Bolivia Maria Teresa Mercado Tuesday arrived in her country after being expelled by Bolivia's de-facto regime after an incident starring Spanish diplomats at her residence.

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Bolivia Expels Mexican Ambassador Amid Ongoing Diplomatic Row

On Dec. 30, the coup-born government led by Jeanine Añez gave Ambassador Mercado 72 hours to leave the Andean country as tensions escalated over Mexico's decision to grant asylum to former officials of President Evo Morales administration.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) administration cast that decision as a principled gesture on behalf of people at risk of political persecution and has accused the Bolivian de-facto regime of harassing and intimidating its diplomatic staff in La Paz.

On Monday, Mexico sought to contain tensions by saying that it currently had no intention of breaking ties with Bolivia even as Spain expelled three Bolivian diplomats in a tit-for-tat move.​​​​​​​

On that same day, however, Mercado was declared "persona non grata" by the self-proclaimed president Añez who held that Spanish diplomats visiting the Mexican residence intended to help escape former Minister Juan Ramon Quintana, to whom President AMLO granted political refuge.

Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Maximiliano Reyes received Mercado to learn about the latest developments in Bolivia and reiterated his country's commitment to the defense of international law.​​​​​​​

Before leaving Bolivia, Ambassador Mercado said she was proud to defend the Mexican tradition of defense of political asylum and thanked the words of Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard who valued her work under the command of the diplomatic delegation in La Paz.

"Disregarding international law, the de-facto government expelled the Mexican ambassador and Spanish diplomats, broke relations with Venezuela, and questioned Argentina," the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) leader Evo Morales tweeted.

"The coup plotters seek legitimacy but only exert violence against sister countries," he added.​​​​​​​

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