BUENOS AIRES, November 12. /TASS/. Bolivia’s former President Evo Morales has thanked the Mexican authorities for granting him political asylum and thus saving his life.
"We are very thankful. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has saved my life! Thank you, Mr. Minister, thank you for saving my life," he said addressing his words to Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard who welcomed him at the Mexico City airport on Tuesday.
Bolivian Pres. Evo Morales: "Our crime or sin is being anti-imperialist."— Camila (@camilateleSUR) November 12, 2019
"If I have committed a crime; it's being Indigenous. If the Vice President has committed a crime; it's implementing social programs for the humble & poorest sectors seeking social justice." @teleSURenglish pic.twitter.com/DtTzdnpaT4
Morales’ speech was telecast live by the Telesur television channel.
Apart from that, Morales revealed that a security service officer told him he had been offered a sum of 50,000 US dollars in exchange for handing the ex-president over. "On November 9, on Saturday, when I arrived in Cochabamba, an army security service officer showed me messages offering him to turn me out in exchange of 50,000 dollars. That is why I am saying that you have saved our lives," he said.
He added that he didn't plan to stop his political activities. "Struggle will continue as long as I am alive," he stressed.
Mexico granted political asylum to Morales on November 11. A Mexican Air Force plane departed from Bolivia heading to Paraguay in the early hours of Tuesday. After the Mexican authorities received permission from the governments of Peru and Brazil to fly over their territories, the aircraft headed to Mexico City.
Bolivia held a presidential election on October 20. According to the election results published by the Supreme Election Court, Morales emerged the winner in the first round. His main rival Carlos Mesa refused to recognize the outcome of the vote. Later a tide of protest demonstrations and strikes followed. Morales imposed a state of emergency and accused the opposition of an attempt to stage a government coup. On November 10, he declared his resignation and described the situation in the country as a government coup. Earlier, the armed forces, the opposition and the trade unions demanded that he step down.
Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera tendered resignation following Morales. Several ministers, a number of lawmakers, including Senate speaker Adriana Salvatierra and speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Victor Borda also resigned.