By RICARDO CASTILLO
Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón has lashed out at the Organization of American States (OAS) report claiming “irregularities” in the Oct. 20 fourth-time reelection of Bolivian President Evo Morales.
The report first called for a new election, to which Morales agreed. But then came the intervention of Morales’ Defense Minister General Williams Kaliman. who, with the backing of several police chiefs from different departments (states) of Bolivia, called for Morales to step down in order to help pacify the nation.
After the intervention of the military and police, Morales turned in his resignation and went into hiding.
Just hours after Morales’s resignation on Sunday, Nov. 10, Ebrard said on that Mexico condemns what happened in Bolivia as a “coup d’état,” particularly because the OAS took over two weeks to make known its appreciations of the result of the election, which does not call it a fraud.
“President Evo Morales decided to present his resignation to avoid a civil war. Therefore, it is a coup,” Ebrard said Monday, Nov. 11. He has the full backing of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who was standing right behind him during the daily press conference at National Palace.
Ebrard also attacked the OAS on keeping mum after Morales’ resignation.
“How can you stay silent before an event of this gravity?” he asked rhetorically.
Ebrard called upon the OAS to state its case during an extraordinary session to demand respect and political democracy, and, at the same time, announced Mexico’s offer of asylum to those Morales administration officials who claim persecution by the police.
Mexico, Ebrard said, is also watching closely the ensuing events because there are 10,000 Mexican citizens living in Bolivia. Ebrard called on the Mexican Embassy in La Paz to look after them “under whatever circumstances” they are.
Ebrard made it clear that, in Mexico, “we will not accept another government that does not come from the popular will” and Mexico will not recognize “a government that’s not the result of a democratic process,” referring directly to the military junta that is now at the helm of the government of Bolivia.
“We’ve just walked into untrodden territory because it just can’t be that the military demands the resignation of an elected working president,” Ebrard said.
In La Paz on Tuesday, Senator Jeanine Añez, a bitter Evo Morales political adversary, was escorted by a military group waiting for her at the La Paz airport. She is expected to be sworn in as pro tempore president and will oversee elections within 60 days.
The U.S. State Department had backed the call for new elections and issued the following statement: “We urge the OAS to send a mission to Bolivia to oversee the new electoral process and to ensure that the new Electoral Tribunal is truly independent and reflects a broad swath of Bolivian society. The Bolivian people deserve free and fair elections.” The State Department has not made a pronouncement regarding the coup.
The waters in the La Paz political scene are still murky, but For now, Morales has found political refuge in Mexico.