- Title: Mexico appeals to international court as diplomatic row with Bolivia intensifies
- Date: 27th December 2019
- Summary: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (DECEMBER 26, 2019) (REUTERS) MEXICAN FLAG OUTSIDE EMBASSY EXTERIOR MEXICAN EMBASSY IN BOLIVIA MEXICAN SHIELD OUTSIDE EMBASSY VARIOUS OF BOLIVIAN POLICEMEN OUTSIDE EMBASSY EXTERIOR MEXICAN EMBASSY VARIOUS OF BOLIVIAN POLICE OUTSIDE EMBASSY
- Embargoed: 10th January 2020 01:14
- Keywords: Bolivia Morales diplomatic tension spat
- Location: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO / LA PAZ & SANTA CRUZ, BOLIVIA
- City: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO / LA PAZ & SANTA CRUZ, BOLIVIA
- Country: Bolivia
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001BBM4RWN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Mexico on Thursday (December 26) turned to the International Court of Justice to ensure its diplomatic facilities were respected in Bolivia as it ramped up pressure on the South American country's interim government to back down in an increasingly fractious spat.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told a regular news briefing that his government was appealing to the court, based in The Hague, to mediate in the dispute, which centres on Mexico's decision to grant asylum to nine people at its embassy.
Since Monday, Mexico has accused the new conservative Bolivian government of heightening the police presence outside the embassy in La Paz and intimidating its staff.
Bolivia's foreign minister, Karen Longaric, said Mexico's appeal to the court was a "legal fallacy" and should be withdrawn.
Headed by interim President Jeanine AÃ±ez, a former senator, the Bolivian government took power last month when long-serving leftist president Evo Morales resigned after a disputed election and took asylum in Mexico, clouding diplomatic relations.
Ebrard said that 11 days after Mexico gave asylum to the nine people and sought safe conduct passes for them, Bolivia told Mexican authorities it had issued arrest warrants for four of them. None have been granted the passes, he added.
Ebrard said he hoped the court would uphold Mexico's right to give asylum and have its premises respected. The "consensus of the international community" was on Mexico's side, he said.
Morales stepped down under pressure from Bolivia's armed forces after a presidential election that the Organisation of American States (OAS) said was rigged in his favour.
He quickly accepted an offer of political asylum from Mexico, putting a strain on relations between Mexico the government headed by AÃ±ez, an opponent of Morales.
According to the Bolivian government, a former senior aide to Morales, Juan Ramon Quintana, is among the nine who have taken asylum in the Mexican embassy.
Morales left Mexico this month and is now in Argentina.
Ebrard likened the attitude taken by what he called the "de facto" Bolivian government to military-led regimes in power in Latin America during the 1970s.
Standing alongside Ebrard, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a leftist ally of Morales, said he hoped no attempt would be made to force entry into the embassy.
"Not even (former Chilean dictator Augusto) Pinochet did that," Lopez Obrador said.
Bolivia's foreign minister rejected claims by Mexico that it has ramped up its police presence outside its embassy in La Paz and is intimidating its diplomats, saying Mexico asked for police support and it would never violate international protocols.
Karen Longaric said MexicoÂ´s appeal to the International Court of Justice to safeguard its diplomatic facilities in Bolivia was a "mistake" and a "legal fallacy," and the appeal should be withdrawn.
(Production: Santiago Limachi, Monica Machicao, Rodolfo Pena Roja, Geraldine Downer)
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