Two ex-collaborators of the Government of former President Evo Morales left Bolivia on Saturday for Mexico, after staying more than two months refugees at the Mexican embassy in La Paz. The former Minister of Mining César Navarro and the former Deputy Minister of Rural Development Pedro Damián Dorado received safe passages to leave the country. The judicial and police authorities of Bolivia caused a diplomatic incident during the departure of the two former officials, who were accompanied by the Mexican ambassador, Edmundo Font López, when they were about to take a commercial flight that had to transport them into exile. A police chief and a prosecutor arrested them at the airport, claiming that they were carrying an arrest warrant against them and that this should be followed while they remained in the national territory.
Navarro and Dorado were arrested with some violence, as they resisted, and then they were transferred to the Police cells, where they remained for a few hours. Both were released after the Ministry of Government issued a statement to inform that they had “arranged for the exit” of the country of both, since the faith of the State was compromised in the safe-conducts that had been granted. The statement explained that “uncoordination” between security entities had resulted in the incident. The former officials, the only ones in the group of refugees from Mexico who had been able to obtain safe passages, boarded another aircraft and were able to leave the country. Ex-officials are expected to arrive in Mexico by midnight, reports Sonia Corona, from Mexico City.
Six other employees of the Movement to Socialism (MAS) remain trapped in Mexican residences. The Government will not give them safe-conduct because there are arrest warrants against them. On the other hand, it was not known that Navarro and Dorado had them until the team responsible for arresting them showed up at the airport and exhibited some freshly prepared ones, due to court cases that had just been opened.
Events of this type are repeated daily, as part of the judicial and police persecution carried out by the transitional Government of Jeanine Añez against the MAS, which already lasts almost three months and has not diminished its intensity. The day before the incident of the safe-conducts, Evo Morales’ assistant, Patricia Hermosa, was arrested, who brought with him a power of the former president so that the MAS could register him as a parliamentary candidate. Hermosa has been accused of complicity with terrorism. The Morales documents she carried were confiscated by the authorities, which will prevent the leftist leader from being registered in the lists of his party.
The detention of people who had safe passages was criticized by a wide range of national personalities, from Morales who protested from his exile in Argentina, to Jorge Quiroga, who until recently was ambassador and close ally of Añez, and who now competes with her In the elections. Carlos Mesa, Morales’s best-placed contender in the previous elections, which were overturned by fraud, also requested an investigation into what happened. “The civilized and democratic countries respect safe conducts,” said Quiroga, who today is one of Añez’s greatest critics for his decision to run for election.