Bolivia: Prioritize Rights in Wake of Morales Resignation

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Watch Evo Morales announce his resignation

Morales, who resigned Sunday amid increasingly violent protests against his fraud-stained re-election to a fourth term, accepted Mexico's offer of political asylum after angry mobs torched his house and those of his friends and top officials, he said on arrival at Mexico City's global airport.

Morales stepped down Sunday under pressure from Bolivia's military following weeks of violent protests fed by allegations of electoral fraud in the October 20 presidential election that he claimed to have won.

Morales, tweeting from exile in Mexico, immediatly condemned what he called "the sneakiest, most nefarious coup in history".

In the confusion, a group of 20 lawmakers and government officials took refuge at the Mexican ambassador's residence, and Mexico announced it was offering asylum to Morales as well.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Monday the government of his country resolved to grant political asylum to Morales "for humanitarian reasons.".

Mexico elected its first left-leaning government in decades previous year, moving closer to like-minded governments and distancing itself from diplomatic initiatives aimed at pushing socialist President Nicolas Maduro from power in Venezuela.

The Senate's second vice president, opposition politician Jeanine Añez has positioned herself to become interim president.

"The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Bolivia", the State Department said in a statement.

The Mexican Government issued a statement today saying that it is granting political asylum to Morales and he has accepted to travel to Mexico.

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Morales' government collapsed on Sunday after ruling party allies quit and the army urged him to step down, a tactic that Mexico's government said it views as a "coup" because it broke with Bolivia's constitutional order. "There are recurring demonstrations, strikes, roadblocks, and marches in major cities".

Opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho, president of the right-wing Pro Santa Cruz Civic Committee, confirmed on his Twitter account that an arrest warrant was out for Morales.

FILE - Bolivia's President Evo Morales, center, speaks during a press conference at the military base in El Alto, Bolivia, Nov. 10, 2019. "I think people are similarly if not more scared this evening", a Western diplomat in the city said, adding that most embassies had been shut with staff working from home.

"Please excuse me if my voice breaks", Anez said between tears after arriving in Congress under heavy guard.

The Morales presidency abruptly ended Sunday, hours after he had accepted calls for a new election by an OAS team that found a "heap of observed irregularities" in the October 20 election.

Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president, was a member of the "pink tide" of leftist leaders who held sway across much of Latin America in the 2000s.

Bolivian opposition leader Carlos Mesa credits a popular uprising, not the military, for forcing Morales to step aside. Intense protests had followed the controversial election that saw Morales win with a slim majority.

Don't take my word for it. Morales's resignation was such a resounding victory for democracy, such an impressive warning shot to far-right populists that it was applauded by the White House.

Morales himself lashed out at political opponents, calling it a return to the bleak era of coups d'etat overseen by Latin American militaries that long dominated the region. The country's Supreme Electoral Court declared that incumbent President Evo Morales won the first round.

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