MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador defended granting political asylum to Bolivia’s ex-leader, who stepped down under the military’s pressure last month, saying Evo Morales was the victim of a coup d’état.
Addressing a crowd of supporters celebrating his first year in office on Sunday, Obrador spoke in support of Morales and stated that he is “our brother who represents with dignity the majority indigenous people of Bolivia”, World News reported.
The former Bolivian president was forced to resign on November 10 under pressure from the country’s armed forces, after the US-backed opposition in the country challenged the outcome of a presidential election, in which Morales won re-election, and sparked weeks of deadly street protests.
Morales — who enjoys a broad popular base both at home and elsewhere in Latin America — was then granted asylum and was warmly welcomed in Mexico, where he currently resides.
The Mexican president further added, “Evo was the victim of a coup d’etat! And from Mexico, we tell the world, ‘Yes to democracy, no to militarism!’”
Obrador recalled the decision to accept Morales as an asylum seeker and noted, “In accordance with our exemplary tradition of offering refuge to persecuted politicians around the world, we decided to grant humanitarian and political asylum to the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, and his vice president, Alvaro Garcia Linera.”
Morales has claimed that there is evidence that the US had orchestrated the “coup” against his administration.