BUENOS AIRES, November 12. /TASS/. Evo Morales, who tendered his resignation from the post of the Bolivian president on Sunday, said he was about to leave his country and fly to Mexico, which granted him political asylum on Monday.
"Brothers and sisters, I’m leaving for Mexico. I’m thankful to the government of this brotherly country for its disinterestedness; they granted an asylum to save our lives," Morales said on Twitter.
Morales said it was "painful" for him "to leave the country for political reasons."
"Soon, I will come back with new force and energy," he added.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard confirmed that Morales already boarded the plane.
"Evo Morales is already on board the plane sent by the government of Mexico to take him safely to our country," he wrote on Twitter.
According to the Los Tiempos newspaper, the plane sent by the Mexican government to take Morales out of the country landed in the Bolivian city of Chimore.
Later in the day, Mexican Air Force plane with Evo Morales on board took off from Bolivia and is now heading to Mexico, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter.
"The Mexican Air Force plane with Evo Morales on board has already taken off," he wrote. "In line with international conventions, he is under Mexico’s protection. His life and health are out of danger."
The Interior Ministry of Mexico said it was ready to grant a refugee status to Morales.
"A refugee status application can be filed before he [Morales] enters the country’s territory," the ministry said in a statement. "Once it is received, the applicant is guaranteed against repatriation or being sent anywhere where his security or freedom are under threat."
The final decision on such an application is to be made within 45 days.
Morales said that after his resignation, he was sheltered by members of the coca growers union in the central province of Cochabamba.
"I’m very thankful for brothers from Cochabamba Tropics (trade unions of coca leaf growers), who took care of me and gave their protection," he wrote on Twitter.
The president attached a photograph that shows him lying on a blanked on the floor.
"This is how I spent my first night after being forced to resign from the post of the president as a result of a coup staged by Carlos Mesa and Luis Fernando Camacho, with the help of the police," he wrote.
On November 10, Bolivian President Evo Morales announced his resignation, branding the recent developments as a coup d’etat. He stepped down following the demands of the country’s armed forces, opposition and trade unions.
Bolivia's presidential election was held on October 20. The country's Supreme Electoral Court declared that incumbent President Evo Morales won the first round. His main rival, former President Carlos Mesa, said that he did not recognize Morales' victory. After the results of the election were announced, protests and strikes erupted across the South American country. Morales declared a state of emergency and accused the opposition of attempting to stage a coup.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Monday the government of his country resolved to grant political asylum to Morales "for humanitarian reasons.".