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Mexican embassy under siege by Bolivian police

Mexico City, Mexico — Maximiliano Reyes, Undersecretary for Latin America, reports elements of the Bolivian Police have surrounded the Mexican embassy in Bolivia.

Reyes said elements of the Bolivian Police arrived aboard several vans located near the headquarters and the diplomatic residence in La Paz. “At this time, the siege of the diplomatic facilities of Mexico in Bolivia is maintained,” he denounced.

An official in the government of Bolivia’s interim president, Jeanine Añez, said in a statement that the actions were meant to prevent Mr. Morales’s allies from fleeing the country.

The director general of American Regional Organizations and Mechanisms, Efraín Guadarrama, justified the protection that Mexico has granted to various former officials of the Evo Morales government who remain within diplomatic headquarters.

He said that Mexico has the power to provide asylum, adding that diplomatic protection was granted before arrest warrants were issued. “The @MRE_Bolivia notified our Embassy of the arrest warrants AFTER the Mexican State granted them asylum,” he posted on social media.

Roberto Velasco, a spokesman for Mexico’s foreign ministry, also confirmed Bolivian police officers were posted in the area of the embassy, adding that Bolivian police had been recording embassy employees and trying to search their vehicles.

Recently appointed Bolivian security minister, Wilson Santamaría said “We will not allow this”, calling the allies of the former president “fugitives.” He says the former Minister of the Presidency, Juan Ramón Quintana, Nicolás Laguna, former head of the Technology Agency and Hector Arce, former Minister of Justice, have arrest warrants and should not be subject to asylum by Mexico.

Bolivia has been in a state of turmoil since October, when Mr. Morales claimed that he had won a disputed election.