Peru, Paraguay, Bolivia and Ecuador put complications (they gave permission and then denied it, or denied it altogether), so that a Mexican Air Force aircraft could arrive in Bolivia to pick up Evo Morales, to whom the country granted asylum, and then transfer him to Mexico. This was explained by Marcelo Ebrard, Mexican Foreign Minister, at a press conference.
The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, offered a conference with his cabinet after granting political asylum to Evo Morales, the president deposed from Bolivia during a coup d’etat, with the aim of describing the journey lived by the Mexican plane that picked up the Bolivian leader.
Evo Morales is expected to arrive on Mexican soil at approximately 11:00 a.m., Mexico time (1 p.m. in Venezuela, or 5:00 p.m. GMT).
Marcelo Ebrard, head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, explained that President López Obrador gave the order to send a plane from the Mexican Army to pick up Morales in Bolivia, but they faced a series of legal problems with the procedures to fly over the airspace of several countries.
“As a result, an Air Force aircraft was instructed to go to Bolivia and pick up Evo Morales,” said the Mexican Foreign Minister.
“It has been a journey through different places and political decisions,” he added.
Evo Morales will decide himself if he gives statements to the press after his arrival at Benito Juárez International Airport in Mexico City, scheduled at 11:00, he said.
The plane traveled from Mexico to Peru. There he made a stop in Lima and then traveled to Bolivia, but the political chaos in the Bolivian nation caused them to deny permission to land in Bolivia. The aircraft had to return to Peru and wait for authorization to enter Bolivia.
“Yesterday nobody could tell us who was in charge in Bolivia,” explained the Mexican Foreign Minister.
The South American Odyssey
Once the authorization to enter Bolivia was obtained, the route they planned to transport the deposed president was through Peru and then over international waters. Originally the permission of the government of Martín Vizcarra was given, but with Evo Morales already on the plane, the Peruvian Foreign Minister notified Ebrard that, due to political decisions, he decided to cancel the permission.
Before the refusal of the Peruvian government, Ebrard spoke with the Foreign Minister of Paraguay, who agreed that the Mexican plane would land in the city of Asunción to load fuel and avoid a tragedy with Morales. All this, in the midst of a tense climate in which the supporters of the deposed president guarded the airport where he boarded the plane, in Bolivia.
Thus, the plane made a stop in the Paraguayan capital, although this country declined, at the last minute, to permit a departure of the Mexican plane. However, the efforts of the Mexican ambassador in Paraguay allowed the aircraft to leave that country.
Subsequently, the Bolivian authorities prevented the Mexican aircraft from flying back over that nation’s airspace, so permission had to be requested from Brazil and then Peru.
At the 8:00 GMT edge, the aircraft departed to Mexico, but there was a new setback over Ecuador, after the Lenin Moreno government refused to allow the aircraft to pass. From there, the trip took place through Mexican national waters, so no further setbacks are expected.
After the complex journey, Evo Morales is expected to arrive in Mexico at 17:00 GMT. “It’s like a trip through Latin American politics, how decisions are made and the risks that are run,” said Ebrard.
Mexico rejects tensions with the US because of Evo’s asylum
When the Mexican Foreign Secretary was questioned if the political asylum granted to Morales will not cause diplomatic tensions between Mexico and the US, the foreign minister responded that the relationship between the two countries are going through a good moment, because there is no relationship of submission.
“A good relationship with the US should not be based on submission, but on respect,” said Ebrard. “Therefore we do not expect a complaint about the position that Mexico has taken according to its Constitution. We have not receive it and we do not expect it.”
The US Government, through President Donald Trump, called the overthrow of Evo Morales in Bolivia “a significant moment for democracy in the Western Hemisphere.”
Translated by JRE/EF