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Mexico offers Morales asylum, says it sheltered Bolivian officials

Mexico offers Morales asylum, says it sheltered Bolivian officials

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said his country would grant asylum to former Bolivian President Evo Morales if he seeks it. Ebrard said that two dozen Bolivian lawmakers and government officials have already taken refuge in Mexico’s official residence in La Paz.

“Mexico, in accordance with its tradition of asylum and non-intervention, has received 20 people from the Bolivian executive [branch] and legislature in the official residence in La Paz, so we also decided to offer asylum to Evo Morales,” Ebrard tweeted.

Morales resigned on Sunday evening after both military and police urged him to step down amid widespread protests that have gripped the nation since the general election on October 20, which Morales won in the first round after narrowly securing the 10-percent win needed to avoid a run-off. The opposition disputed the outcome, alleging that Morales interfered with the vote count. A preliminary report by the Organization of American States (OAS) mission claimed that it was “statistically unlikely” that Morales could have secured a 10-percent lead. Announcing his resignation, Morales said he hopes it will stop the violence amid the unrest.

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