Bolivia’s government expels Mexican and Spanish diplomats

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Bolivia’s government expelled Mexican and Spanish diplomats on Monday, escalating a diplomatic dispute after Mexico’s embassy in La Paz granted asylum to allies of Bolivia’s former socialist president Evo Morales.

The Spanish government has declared three Bolivian diplomats “personae non gratae” in a tit-for-tat move as a diplomatic spat deepened with Madrid’s former colony, The Guardian reports.

“The constitutional government that I preside over has decided to declare persona non grata the ambassador of Mexico in Bolivia, Maria Teresa Mercado, the charge d’affaires of Spain, Cristina Borreguero, and the (Spanish) consul, Alvaro Fernandez,” Bolivia’s interim president, Jeanine Anez was quoted saying by RFI.

She accused the diplomats of having “seriously harmed the sovereignty and dignity of the people and the constitutional government of Bolivia” and gave them 72 hours to depart.

Mexico’s foreign ministry denounced the “political” decision and said it had instructed Mercado to return home.

The announcement by Bolivia came after the country accused Spanish embassy staff of trying to infiltrate the Mexican mission in La Paz with a group of masked men to extract a wanted former aide of ex-president Evo Morales.

Morales — who resigned in November after weeks of protests over his controversial re-election — stands accused of sedition and terrorism and is living in exile in Argentina. The Mexican embassy has become the center of a diplomatic row after it sheltered nine or more officials from Morales’s former government.

Via The Guardian / RFI 



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