Mexico accuses Bolivia of besieging its diplomatic headquarters in La Paz, while the interim government of the South American country denounces that they welcome those persecuted by the Bolivian Justice
Bolivia on Friday accused the Spanish Embassy in La Paz of committing “outrages” to its sovereignty, for an incident with the Bolivian Police guarding a Mexican diplomatic headquarters in this city. The interim chancellor of Bolivia, Karen Longaric, announced a protest note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, for the incident apparently caused by Spanish embassy officials who were accompanied by “hooded” and “presumably armed“.
Longaric read to the media in La Paz a statement in which she explained that the incident occurred in the morning local time at the residence of the ambassador of Mexico in Bolivia, María Teresa Mercado. The residence is believed to house about a dozen people who were accused by the interim government of Bolivia of various crimes, including several former ministers of the Evo Morales stage prosecuted for accusations such as terrorism.
The provisional Executive of Jeanine Áñez described the incident as “run over the sovereignty” of Bolivia after they were “identified as officials of the Spanish embassy in Bolivia” who were “accompanied by hooded men”. The interim Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia said that these people “tried to surreptitiously and clandestinely enter the diplomatic residence.”
Continúa el arribo de vehículos policiales para asediar la Residencia de México en Bolivia pic.twitter.com/2WetfuI1wi
— Maximiliano Reyes Zúñiga (@maximilianoreyz) December 25, 2019
“The Bolivian Police stopped the entry of vehicles“, with license plates from the Spanish embassy, since “the presence of hooded men represented a potential threat,” she said. Karen Longaric affirmed that later the diplomatic personnel of Spain could enter in a “free” way.
Protests against Spain
The interim chancellor blamed Spain for violating the Vienna Convention, causing “an obvious threat” to Mexican residence by not respecting its “inviolability“, since diplomatic personnel cannot carry firearms “or hide their identity.” “These abuses deeply affect the dignity and sovereignty of the Bolivian State,” he denounced.
Longaric criticized “the misunderstanding of some governments, which, guided by ideological commitments and without understanding substantial aspects inherent to our national reality, comment on acts of direct interference.” “The facts are evident,” she said, while wondering why they were going to visit the Mexican ambassador “with people with their faces covered and presumably armed.”
Tension with Mexico
The chancellor’s appearance came after different comments about the incident appeared on social networks, one of them from the Mexican ambassador herself, although she was later removed from Twitter. The message said: “I am in charge of business and consul Spain in residence, they have stopped their car with diplomatic plates in addition to having assaulted them !!!! That is a violation of the CVRD!” Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.
Agradezco las afirmaciones de la Canciller de Bolivia @KarenLongaric y que hoy estuvieran funcionarios del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores inspeccionando lo que sucede enfrente de la residencia, esperamos que los elementos policiales y de inteligencia militar sean retirados https://t.co/8IexOhfvVW
— María Teresa Mercado (@mtmercado2002) December 23, 2019
The Government of Mexico, for its part, reported that Bolivian police, who keep watch over Mexican diplomatic headquarters in La Paz, blocked the departure of Spanish diplomats who were at the ambassador’s residence. According to a statement from the Mexican Foreign Ministry, the consul of Spain in Bolivia, Álvaro Fernández, and the business manager of the Spanish embassy, Cristina Borreguero, waited more than an hour to be able to leave the residence because the Bolivian Police prevented the passage of their chauffeurs.
Bolivia and Mexico maintain a constant diplomatic tension since Evo Morales was welcomed in the US country, after resigning power last November denouncing a coup d’etat to overthrow him. Mexico accuses Bolivia of besieging its diplomatic headquarters in La Paz, while the interim government of the South American country denounces that they welcome those persecuted by the Bolivian Justice.